Fall 2016 Toadies

Sept. 6 - Spelling of the name of your school, editing codes to 'insert space' and capitalise letters.

Sept. 7 - then / than (inspired by an anonymous student--thank you, Anonymous!)

Sept. 8 - I, me, or myself? Use of the nominative case, objective case, and self-reflexive pronoun. Also the term "irony": What's ironic about using the nominative case (I) or self-reflexive pronoun (myself) in place of the objective case (me)?

Sept. 9 - Date everything you do, spell things right, use a formal format for assignments, know how to spell the days of the week and months of the year, remember they're capitalised. Editing code to 'invert letters'. Bonus! the etymology (origins) of the days of the week.

Sept. 12 - Use the nominative case of the first person pronoun properly: "Sarah and I went for groceries." Terms: diction (and syntax for Grade 10) and ellipsis (ellipses pl.)

Sept. 13 - Quiz

Sept. 14 - Know that "is when" is wrong. Wrong--An example of Milton's use of metaphor is when... Wrong--A simile is when... How would you correct these errors? Gave full lesson and demonstration how to structure a definition; in a nutshell, a noun is attributed to a class of things and then details distinguish it from all other things in that class. Click this link for help with the "is when" error.

Sept. 15 - good / well. Vocabulary: noun, adjective, verb, adverb

Sept. 16 - there / their / they're. Vocabulary: contraction, third person pronoun

Sept. 19 - Chart of first person, second person, and third person (m) and (f) pronouns in nominative case, objective case, and self-reflexive forms. This was part review and part expansion on what you already know. At this point, you can explain what a pronoun is.

Sept. 20 - Quiz

Sept. 21 - Get your e's under control in metaphor, metaphors, simile, similes, and therefore.

Sept. 22 - Who vs. whom: One's the nominative case, and the other is the objective case

Sept. 23 - Effect vs. affect: One's a noun and the other's a verb.

Sept. 26 - Error of redundancy: ...the reason...is because. Use one phrase or the other, but not both. Defined redundancy, explained the issue of emphasis when you're choosing one sentence structure over another (argumentative stance versus factual statement that sounds like plot summary). Illustrated some faulty solutions that change verb tense of to be instead of solving the redundancy, and identified present, past, future, and conditional verb tenses.

Sept. 27 - Error of redundancy: (I'm not being redundant; it's another error of redundancy!) You need to keep track of what your reader knows. If your reader already knows the author of the source from which a quotation has been extracted, then please do not put the author's name in your parenthetical reference! It's redundant! I also showed the proper format for parenthetical references, explained the difference between parentheses and brackets, I explained what brackets are used for, the difference between a bibliography and a works cited list, and what the word citation means. I also explained what you use if your sources consist of both sources that were used but not quoted, and sources that were quoted.

Sept. 28 - Two Words, Not One! a lot and as well.

Sept. 29 - Put the titles of short works--such as short stories, poems, essays, and articles--into quotation marks. Underline titles of complete works--such as plays, novels, names of periodicals, anthologies, and textbooks--when you're writing by hand. If you're typing, don't underline titles of complete works; italicize them instead.

Sept. 30 - Please stop/discontinue using slashes/obliques in your writing/compositions because it's distracting/annoying. I also defined the words synonym and synonymous.

Oct. 3 - Yet another error of redundancy: ...so therefore...

Oct. 4 - After the quiz we took it up and I reviewed taught some more editing codes: how to signify delete letter, delete a series of letters or a word, insert space, and insert letter.

Oct. 5 - Measured Certainty: Know what you know and know what you don't. The point of this paradoxical statement is to ask you to be aware of the level of certainty you use in the diction of arguments and points of fact. Please do state an argument directly and with certainty, then provide enough solid evidence in the form of quotations from the piece of literature, aspects of the plot structure, prevailing tendencies of literature from a particular literary period, conventions of the form of the piece, etc., to support the argument's validity. However, in the case of stating facts in the real world--such as a statement about an author--take care! Do not express statements using diction that conveys certainty unless the "fact" can be verified with solid historical evidence.

Oct. 6 - The i before e rule.

Oct. 12 - Error or Agreement (agr). The subject and verb of a sentence must agree in number. For example, you can say "A contraction is..." or "Contractions are...", but you can't say "A contraction are...". Note that the abbreviation for plural is pl. and the abbreviation for singular is sing.

Oct. 13 - Do you put a comma before the conjunction at the end of a list of three or more items? There are two schools of thought: (1) "When in doubt, leave it out, and (2) The Oxford Comma. Use the first for commercial writing such as newspaper articles, and use the second for academic writing in English.

Oct. 14 - Avoid a non sequitur in your writing. This is an error in logic. It means "does not follow". A non sequitur occurs when the conclusion drawn from a set of conditions or observations is not the logical outcome of the series of statements. Your series of sentences follows a train of thought. When a sentence falls off the track, you have a non sequitur. e.g., It's raining. I'm getting wet. I have a closed umbrella in my hand. Therefore, I should have a ham sandwich. Here, the logical conclusion to the series of statements is obviously something like I'll open my umbrella and use it to shield myself from the rain. Getting a ham sandwich doesn't follow the line of logic that was developed by the series of statements. (Grade 10s' non sequitur: "Romeo's friend gets killed by Tybalt. Romeo expresses his rage when he says he's going abandon the virtue of mercy--"to heaven lenity"--and choose vice--"fire-eyed fury be my conduct now". The word fury is synonymous with both rage and vengeance. Having stated, then, that he has chosen vice (rage) over virtue (mercy), to purposely do what he sees as morally wrong instead of what he sees as morally right, he then he kills Tybalt. Therefore, the moral fall that drives the tragic consequences of Romeo and Juliet is Romeo's decision to marry Juliet." Here, the conclusion is clearly a non sequitur because it doesn't follow the line of logic of the preceding statements. A more logical conclusion would be that the moral fall that drives the tragedy is Romeo's expressed willful disobedience of God's divine order as he deliberately kills Tybalt to satisfy his rage and desire for revenge, i.e., the central problem in the feud mentality of Verona established at the start of the play--quenching rage with blood--the folly pointed out by the Prince in Act 1, Scene 1.

Oct. 17 - Using semicolons for a complex list. When we went shopping, John got the bananas, apples, and strawberries; Barbara got the cereal, pancake mix, and maple syrup; and Fred got the milk, eggs, and yogurt. Here is another example: In Romeo and Juliet, the Prince, Lord and Lady Montague, and Paris are tertiary characters; Lord and Lady Capulet, the Nurse, the Friar, Benvolio, Mercutio, and Tybalt are secondary characters; and Romeo and Juliet are main characters.

Oct. 18 - Ambiguous or Vague Diction. Avoid the ambiguous "they" when you're referring to the author of a work. Note the correct spelling of writer and playwright. Note that the words author and narrator are not synonymous. Know what the word persona means.

Oct. 19 - Quiz

Oct. 20 - Paragraph Breaks: There are only two ways: Manuscript Style or Full Block Style. We use the MLA Manuscript Style: Indent the start of each paragraph 0.5" by pressing the TAB key; no extra space between paragraphs. The location of paragraph breaks is always clear. However, the Full Block method used for formal business letters and other published texts looks nice, but can create ambiguities when it comes to evaluating paragraph structure. Also taught what MLA stands for and what the MLA Style Guide is. Taught the editing code for insert paragraph and remove paragraph break. Showed my own code that I will use to indicate when a paragraph break is ambiguous.

Oct. 21 - The Literary Present: This is a box of chocolates you bring to your English teacher. Just kidding. Use the present tense of verbs, not the past tense, when referring to events that occur in a work of fiction. e.g. Wrong: Olivia dismissed Malvolio's criticism of the Fool. Right: Olivia dismisses Malvolio's criticism of the Fool.

Oct. 24 - Use an uppercase letter at the start of words referring to country, race, religion, language, etc., even if the word is used as an adjective, e.g., a French book.

Oct. 25 - No comma before because in this type of sentence: Jack went to the store because he was out of milk. (No comma required!)

Oct. 26 - We use the possessive pronoun whose whether we're referring to a person or an object! NOTE: As we took up the quiz, I gave the rule for spelling out numbers. Know the method for newspaper and magazine articles, and know the other rule for formal academic papers.

Oct. 28 - Identifying sentences and sentence fragments; FANBOYS; things that indicate sentence fragments

Oct. 31 - Avoid using speculative support! Do not support an argument by saying what would have happened if the writer had written the story differently. Support arguments with quotations and events that actually happen in the story.

Nov. 1 - Sentence Types: Simple Sentences, Compound Sentences, Complex Sentences, and Compound-Complex Sentences.

Nov. 7 - Sometimes You've Got to be in the Subjunctive Mood.

Nov. 8 - Don't Write a Run-on Sentence. Identifying Run-on Sentences, Comma-Splices, and Fused Sentences. What's a true run-on?

Nov. 9 - Parenthetical References for Shakespeare Plays, e.g., (1.3.45).

The Citizen Reporter (Media Smarts)

That's Not Me tutorial


Read Write Think Interactives

Grade 10 (ref. Continuum Aug. 2012)
  • Animal Farm, To Kill a Mockingbird, Life of Pi
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • "Borders" Thomas King
  • Lurhmann/Zeferelli
  • "I Lost My Talk" Rita Joe
  • Media (Audiences negotiate meaning in media; media have commercial implications
  • media product
  • Postcolonial / Cultural Criticism

Animal Farm Study Guide

Grade 12
  1. Critical Analysis Essay (ISU/Summative & Exam)
  2. Identification and Comment on Sight Passage (Exam)
  3. Presentation Skills (Summative)
  4. Media Product
Ted Talk Lessons from an Ad Man

Media Smarts

Favourite Quotes about Words

Mount Royal College's "Gaslight" reading list of fiction and non-fiction

On Faerie Stories

Grade 10 http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/english910currb.pdf

Exercise for Sonnets

Knight`s Tale http://www.luminarium.org/medlit/knight.htm

R&J NAC Study Guied http://www2.nac-cna.ca/en/theatre/1011/romeo-juliet/studyguide

Beowulf http://www.gutenberg.org/files/981/981-h/981-h.htm

Oedipus Trilogy http://mirror.its.dal.ca/gutenberg/3/31/31-h/31-h.htm

Frankenstein http://mirror.its.dal.ca/gutenberg/8/84/84-h/84-h.htm

The Rover (Aphra Behn) http://www.gutenberg.org/files/21339/21339-h/files/rover.html#rover1

Le Morte D'Arthur (Thomas Malory) http://manybooks.net/titles/malorythetext981mart10.html

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight http://alliteration.net/gawain_weston.pdf

ENG3U Media Literacy and Poetry Unit (Beowulf)



  1. map of school (Gr. 9)
  2. course description/ evaluation / list of texts
  3. binder org.; section title pages: speaking and listening skills (orange); reading (yellow); writing (green); media literacy (blue)
  4. note-taking (speaking and listening)
  5. Away? What to do.
  6. When the teacher's away.
  7. Notes on plagiarism
  8. Written assignments / typed assignments
  9. Assessing web sites
  10. literary concepts, techniques, and devices (...meaning) - lessons and web site sources

Grade 9 Journal Winter 2015

We started the semester with a unit on writing news reports for print newspapers. We discussed comprehension questions about a particular news report and then used it as a model to ascertain the style and conventions.

Students wrote a quiz to reinforce this material and handed in their notes for assessment.

In terms of routines, students received a Course Information Sheet outlining the topics we'll be studying this semester, policies, and advice on how to set up their English binder to stay organized. Each student has established two Study Buddies whom he or she can contact to borrow notes when absent. The expectation regarding homework is that you do 15-30 minutes each night to avoid accumulating unfinished tasks. I do not support or condone students staying up late to do homework, but encourage a regular routine of practising their reading and writing skills for a short time after school each day.

Feb. 24
  • Yesterday you completed the News Report unit by writing a report as an evaluation. We're going to write a short story in this class, but first we need to take care of some business...
  • Gave handouts on "Gore" containing words to look up in the dictionary, comprehension questions, and a character study.
  • Looked at the design of the graphic organizer and different concept maps.
  • Instruction regarding an umbrella idea (an idea that encompasses other ideas); i.e., a main character trait that encompasses other character traits of either Lucas or Amy in "Gore".
If there is a snow day tomorrow, you can work ahead in your Grammar booklet and work ahead in your Sightlines 9 anthology.

Feb. 25
  • Pop quiz for spelling words from yesterday's handout (Spelling Corrections from Feb. 11 Evaluation)
  • I read six student submissions for the exercise on "At the Bus Stop, One Autumn Morning" and the class and I generated observations of what made each of them appealing. Some of the things noted were imagery; organization; coherence; substantial content; plenty of new information; contains a fresh and unique perspective; can evoke emotion; effective diction; honesty; a genuine quality; and a fluid, natural, readable cadence.
  • Lesson and handout on organizing a paragraph
  • Lesson on titles: a clear practical, functional title (e.g., Question 2 "At the Bus Stop, One Autumn Morning") and a creative title for the piece itself (e.g., If I Could Fly)
  • Task: Rewrite the piece applying corrections and today's lessons, due Monday.
  • Remember to do your anthology and grammar homework for tomorrow.

Feb. 26
  • Today we took up the worksheet on "Gore".
  • As we did that, I gave lessons on
    • what is a parenthetical reference and how you do it
    • what you write before inserting a quotation and why it's hard to remember to do it that way
    • how to refer to context of a quotation without mentioning page number (or scene number, or line number) in the sentence itself
    • how the character map relates to the organization of ideas (structure) of an essay
Mar. 1
  • Pop Quiz for Writing Skills with Self-Assessment: Conventions of English
    • spelling from Spelling List of Words Misspelled on Feb. 11 Evaluation and homophones (lead/led, sore/soar)
    • other conventions associated with unit on writing News Reports (e.g., not starting sentences with numerals)
    • vocabulary:
      • subject-verb agreement (agr) involving matching number, i.e., singular (sing.) or plural (pl.)
      • what to do (or not do) with apostrophe where possessive pronouns and contractions are concerned
      • what to do (or not do) with apostrophe where names ending in s are concerned
  • Read three student writing samples (News Report on "At the Bus Stop..." or "Gore") and students made notes on what was good in them, e.g., imaginative detail, precision, mature vocabulary, authentic reporter's voice, irony, substantial amount of information.
  • Homework Assignment: In groups of three, each student brings in specified types of poems: (1) a nursery rhyme, limerick, or sonnet, (2) a speech from one of Shakespeare's plays, and (3) a free-verse poem.

Mar. 2
  • Spelling Dictation from List of Words Misspelled on Feb. 11 Evaluation
  • What is prose and poetry? What is verse?
  • What is free verse free of?
  • We looked at the dictionary definition of verse and I pointed out what definitions to look at, and which to ignore for now.
  • Gave lesson clarifying these words plus other literary terms:
    • prose
    • poetry
    • lineation
    • stanzas
    • verse
    • meter / metrical composition
    • rhythm
    • rhyme / rhyme scheme
    • blank verse
    • free verse
  • Using last night's homework, small groups looked to see if their poems matched the definitions of rhymed verse, blank verse, and free verse.
  • Students handed in their report of observations about their poems at the end of the period.

Mar. 3
  • Thorough lesson on imagery with notes on blackboard.
    • use in figures of speech with examples
    • appeal to the five senses
    • mixing senses
    • importance and specificity of the image (e.g. chocolate vs. dark chocolate)
    • figures that use imagery (simile, metaphor, personification, allusion, hyperbole)
    • literal vs. figurative imagery
    • sound imagery (e.g. the sound the word makes)
  • What does the images say about the thing or person being described?
  • What does the imagery say about how the speaker feels about the thing or person being described?
  • How does the image make you feel about the thing or person being described?
  • Does the image have a positive or negative connotation?
  • Terms to know: literary, literal vs. figurative, logical inference, positive or negative connotation, simile, metaphor, personification, allusion, hyperbole, imagery, concrete imagery, abstract imagery, literal imagery, sound imagery.
  • Here are two resources for reviewing or learning the terms: http://literarydevices.net/imagery/ and http://www.virtualsalt.com/rhetoric.htm

Mar. 4
  • What is a cultural indicator? (What is culture?) What are some of the types of products that any given culture makes? Are these made for the purpose of being artifacts?
  • The Haida mask: What's its purpose within its culture? If we're not from that culture, what can we learn about the culture in which it was made by examining it as an archeological or anthropological artifact?
  • Detached (unbiased) observation along with an informed and educated perspective.
  • Today's Practice Activity: Report in The Globe and Mail What does this article tell us about the culture in which it was made? Pretend you're an anthropologist from the future, or someone from another planet and make observations about the form and media as well as the content. Students came up with interesting and insightful observations.
  • The ways a news report, which is supposed to be neutral, can contain a bias or slant.
  • Conclusions: When you analyze, you examine both content and form.
  • Content contains intentional messages, unintentional messages, and subtexts.
  • The form and type of medium of a piece sends a message, too!
  • Media terminology used today: culture, cultural, artifact, purpose, anthropological, form, medium, media, neutral, bias, slant, analyze, intentional messages, unintentional messages, subtext.

Mar. 8
  • Evaluation

Mar 9
  • Quiz on Apostrophe. We took it up in class.

Mar. 10
  • "Messages are Everywhere": Identify the examples of irony in the media texts we examined today.
  • What is media literacy? List three purposes of it.
  • What is a media text? List some examples. List some examples of things that are not media texts.
  • List three layers of messages.
  • List three modes of communication of media texts; i.e., means of transmitting messages.
  • List three types of agendas that creators of texts may have.

Mar. 11
  • For the first half of the class, I conducted a review of media literacy principles (See Mar. 4 and Mar. 10 entries)
  • Then we broke out the goodies and had a party. Happy March Break, everybody!

Mar. 21
  • Taught full lesson on narrative point of view--first person, omniscient, and limited omniscient--with examples and notes on board.
  • Layout for submissions covered again for tomorrow's reading/writing practice.
Mar. 22
  • Homework that did not apply yesterday's instructions, were incomplete, or were illegible were returned for completion and resubmission tomorrow.
  • A third lesson on how to format submissions was given with notes on board, with the added instruction to make the writing legible.
  • I pointed out the titles of short stories go in quotation marks.
  • Handout: Review of media literacy principles with group work. This was taken up at the end of the class.
  • I informed the class that the next grammar quiz (on "Cracking the Sentence Code" will have a "Use of Apostrophe" component.
Mar. 23
  • Lesson on tone, structure, and diction (word choice)
  • Differences among types of verbal irony: sarcasm, facetiousness, and irony (tongue-in-cheek)
  • Students started reading "Save the Moon for Kerdy Dickus" by Tim Wynne-Jones aloud

Mar. 24
  • Snow Day! Work Period.

Mar. 29
  • Design Competition Information deadline April 25
  • Full lesson on irony with notes on blackboard: irony of tone, verbal irony, situational irony, and dramatic irony
  • Review handout for narrative point of view (POV)
  • Students continued reading "Save the Moon" aloud

Mar. 30
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxLG2wtE7TM
  • Gave individual verbal feedback on today's submission with students making corrections during class.
  • Students finished reading "Save the Moon" aloud. What type of irony was used in that story?

April 6
  • Part 2 of the Unit 1 Evaluation: Short Story Sight Passage
  • Homework: Please read and take jot notes on The Elements of Fiction

April 8
  • Today I talked about the importance of showing up prepared to do class, having done the homework. This is necessary so that when you come to class prepared, you can then build on your knowledge to adequately learn from the exercise we then do in the classroom.
  • Since we were not able to do the activity about the Elements of Fiction today due to some students showing up without having done their homework from two days ago, I taught an impromptu lesson on simile, metaphor, and personification.
  • Students learned that the common definitions found in dictionaries and online may not be sufficient for valid analysis of language at this level, and more sophisticated definitions, with examples, were provided. Students assured me they understood the material given during the lesson, and indicated to me that they were grasping the abstract qualities of these figures of speech.
  • Homework: Students who are up-to-date do not have homework this weekend other than reviewing the work they have already completed in order to prepare for their quiz on "Cracking the Sentence Code" on Monday. Those students who have not been keeping up-to-date on their grammar exercises have a bit more homework this weekend in order to prepare. Finally those who have still not done their homework from two days ago need to catch up this weekend.

April 11
  • Grammar Quiz
  • Review and Build on Friday's lesson: reviewed metaphor, simile, and personification. Taught allusion and types of allusion.
  • HW: alliteration
  • Let's get back on track with the elements of fiction tomorrow.

April 12
  • Completed the examples and explanation of allusions
  • Gave some points regarding allusion
  • Gave instruction regarding plot and other elements of fiction
  • Gave handout regarding Group Work Oral Presentation

April 13
  • Students determined that the make-up News Report (for students who were disappointed with their mark on this evaluation) will be on Monday. The terms and conditions regarding the evaluation were outlined.
  • Students chose their groups, their topics, and their presentation dates for next week. The terms and conditions for this task were outlined also.
  • Remember that this is your homework for the next week. You're expected to not only think about this task, but also to make concrete progress on the production of your visual aid. Avoid stress and disappointment later; start yesterday.

April 14
  • Took up the grammar quiz.
  • 15 minutes to connect with group or work individually on presentation.

April 15
  • Handed out the rubric for the presentations next week. Each component of the rubric, including strategies for preparing, was explained using input from students (what they already know), and notes on the blackboard.
  • Here is an original version of "Little Red Riding Hood" for the "Coup de Grace" presentation:
  • Hard copies of the story were handed to students in that group who waited after class to get them.

April 18

  • Those students who wanted to improve their grade on Writing a News Report gave it another shot today.
  • I came around to each of the other students to check in and answer questions about their oral presentation projects.
  • Some students were getting caught up or working ahead in their Grammar booklets, which was nice to see.
  • On blackboard: "Tomorrow's presentation is on 'Lamb to the Slaughter'. What can you, as a student and audience member, do to prepare for tomorrow's presentation? (Listening Skills)"

April 19
  • We started presentations today, and they were wonderful!
  • I gave back some homework exercises and gave a handout for tracking all of your exercises for Unit 1. Students are going to paperclip them together or put them in a portfolio and hand them in as a package to represent their learning skills, evolution as writers, and reading accomplishments.
  • Unit 1 Portfolio due Friday
  • "Metacognition" Reflection regarding Presentation due on Monday.

April 25
  • Students handed in their presentation reflection piece today.
  • I handed back the presentation evaluations
  • Gave general feedback, explaining what upspeak is; gave pointers to note for next set of presentations
  • Gave due date to have The Chrysalids read: May 24 (Quiz)
  • Students got into groups to ascertain what topics people would present for The Chrysalids at the end of May.
  • Sketching exercise: Students created images of characters based on their personality traits.
  • Tomorrow: Sentence Fragment Quiz

April 26
  • Quiz on identifying the difference between correct sentences and sentence fragments.
  • Students had a chance to connect with their Chrysalids groups to solidify groupings and individual topics.
  • Students did three more sketches based on character traits and I told the start of a story involving these characters.
  • Homework: How would you finish this story? OR Look up the difference between the subjunctive mood and a conditional statement using the past tense.

April 27
  • Took up the quiz
  • Read some student stories from last night's homework. (Awesome stories, guys!)
  • Revealed that the characters are actually from Twelfth Night. Explained the method behind the madness.
  • Gave some details about the politics of Elizabethan times.
May 5

  • Today we started by reviewing the fools in Twelfth Night and adding to the present explanations of what makes each character foolish. Then we added more characters.
  • Next, I gave the third instalment of a series of paragraphs that have been assigned around the issue of irony and foolishness.

May 20
  • By now we've completed the Twelfth Night unit. You read the first part aloud, and you got some instruction on types of characters, some of Shakespeare's conventions, some characteristics of life in Elizabethan times, and some pointers of how to improve your reading skills that are transferable from your learning to read Shakespeare. I asked how many of you can read the play, without the use of a parallel translation, and get the general gist of what's going on. Most of you raised your hands.
  • Reading skills:
    • context clues--getting the gist of what's being said by considering what is going on in the play so far
    • understanding how metaphors work so as to avoid getting off track by taking metaphors literally
    • learning what some of the archaic terms mean: e.g. thee, thou, thine, hither, thither, etc.
    • knowing the cultural codes of behaviour (nobility, knights, fools) and language to understand the significance of characters' actions and words
    • getting an idea of what is thematically significant by considering the form of the dialogue (decorum)
    • getting an idea of the social hierarchy of the characters by considering the level of language and figures of speech
    • using a regular dictionary to find out what difficult words mean
    • understanding how irony works to sort out what's serious and what's funny
    • knowing the codes of the form--i.e., drama--to determine the motivations of characters (use of soliloquies and asides)
  • You've written an evaluation on Twelfth Night.
  • Here's what's coming up:
    • Tuesday, May 24: Quiz on The Chrysalids--You have finished reading the novel you received before the March Break.
    • Wednesday, May 25: Presentations on Setting
    • Thursday, May 26: Presentations on Plot
    • Friday, May 27: Presentations on Types of Characters
    • Monday, May 30: Point of View and Types of Conflict
    • Tuesday, May 31: Imagery, Symbolism, and Theme
    • Wednesday, June 1: Irony and Theme
    • Thursday, June 2: Media Analysis
  • We will begin the in-class summative task directly after that. Remember that the summative task in done in the classroom; you are not allowed to do any of the production at home. You can think about it at home, of course!

Grade 9 Journal Sept 2015

Sept. 8 The First Day of High School!

  • Seating Plan
  • "Best Book" survey: Everyone contributed a title to put on the bulletin board.
  • Information about the course.
  • Question Period: Everyone put a question about ANYTHING into the bin and I answered them to the class. Books, essays, teaching English, summatives, exams, classroom policies, etc. were addressed.
  • Task: Write 10 interview questions for interview of classmate. If you're not done, you complete it for homework.

Sept. 9

  • Policy of coming to class prepared: paper, pen, homework, washroom, water bottle already full, textbook, etc.
  • Emergency procedures: fire alarm, secure school, lockdown.
  • Interviews of classmates.
  • Whole-class brainstorm ideas about layout and development
  • Time to write a draft. Work completed handed in by the end of the period.

Sept. 10

  • Mr. B. introduced
  • This web site was shown and we discussed possible uses
  • Handout: Course Information Sheet--Opening embedded documents on the web site shown and discussed. (You can print off handouts if you lose one.)
  • ENG1D Course Information Sheet Sept. 2015.docx
    ENG1D Course Information Sheet Sept. 2015.docx
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  • Tip of the Day routine started. (i)
  • Overhead: Student work shown and discussed--title, date, full name, Canadian spellings, competent use of punctuation.
  • Peer Bio Writing Project: Review of writing process
  • Revisit and develop piece: How can you develop the content of your piece? (lesson)
  • Due dates: (To write down in your agenda) Typed draft due Monday, completed work with process work due on Wednesday Thursday.

Sept. 11

  • Survey: Any issues with seating arrangements? These were communicated today for seating plan revisions.
  • Study Buddies established and requirements reviewed.
  • This Web site location and usage reviewed.
  • Toadie (TOTD)--actually, Tip of the Day routine established. Today's: "Jackie and I went to the concert," not "Me and Jackie went to the concert" - nominative and objective cases explained.
  • Criteria for writing assignment developed as a class: vocabulary, correctness, content development, writing style, creative layout. NOTE: Do the work to the best of your ability so your peer editor can tell you something you don't already know.
  • Reminder that the revised version of your piece is due on Monday for peer editing.
  • Sightlines 10 anthology was issued. Replacement cost for lost books is $40.

Sept. 14-16

  • Peer-editing
  • Readings from Sightlines 10.

Sept. 17

  • Toadie! Do you use "good" or "well"? Is the word you need an adjective or adverb?
  • Review of the various stages of the writing process you used to compose your Classmate Biography piece.
  • Collections of polished piece and process work.
  • What is prose? What is poetry?

Sept. 18

  • Toadie! Where do you go to school? Check for spelling and correct capitalization in the name of your school. You will need to put it on a resume some day.
  • Imagery--Potluck! What did you bring to the table today? What am I doing to support your oral communication in class?
  • Imagery: Notes on blackboard from student contributions.
  • Brainstorm of poetic devices you already know; groups working on review lesson to teach to class. Homework: come up with a quirky idea to make your lesson interesting. Your due date is Wednesday.
  • "At the Bus Stop" poem: literal vs. figurative.
  • Homework: Bring in your favourite poem! If you don't have a "favourite" one, bring one you don't hate.
What do you need to bring to class on Monday? You need a pen, paper, anthology, idea for teaching your poetic device so you have a contribution to offer your group, AND a favourite poem. Here's one of mine!

Let's Take Stock!

Assignment #1 Writing Sample: Short Biography of a Classmate (with creative layout and writing process)

Sept. 21

  • Toadie: metaphor (Spelled with no e on the end.)
  • Collected your favourite poems.
  • Worked on your group work: poetic device.
  • Started reading "Gore" aloud and let people continue reading silently. There were a few minutes at the end to work on the handout.

Sept. 22

  • Toadie: Mr. B's contribution about comma usage.. Saying "Let's eat kids!" without the necessary comma can sound quite morbid!
  • Poem du jour: "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. Homework: For this particular task, I'm going to let you use the Internet to find out what this poem means, and also find out more about the poet. (We're working towards not using the Internet, right?)
  • 20 minutes to work on the "Gore" handout.
  • 15 minutes to work in groups.
  • 10 minutes self-directed work to catch up or work ahead.
  • NOTIFICATION: Review for an evaluation coming up in one week!

Sept 23-25

  • Toadies: spelling of simile (similes); languages, countries, and nationalities all get capitalized; spelling of rhythm and rhyme.
  • Student-led lessons on rhythm, rhyme, simile, metaphor, and onomatopoeia
  • Observations of a Haida mask (media text), research on the Haida culture, notes on blackboard, and discussion drawing connections between research discoveries and the image of the mask.
  • Homework due Wednesday: research what is meant by The Elements of Design

Sept. 28

  • Toadie: Misuse of the reflexive pronoun yourself: It is between yourself you and your child.
  • Further requests for homework due last week.
  • Review for evaluation tomorrow.
  • Explanation of the expectations of Level 3.
  • Reminder of homework for Wednesday (See Sept. 23-25 entry.).

Sept. 29

  • No Toadie today; test instead!

GO TO ENG1D Journal 2, Oct. link in the sidebar (on the right) of this web site.

Oct. 5

  • Toadie: The i before e rule.
  • Rhythm of the week: the dactyl
  • Meter of the day: dactylic monometer, e.g., Beautiful!
  • Poem! "Leisure" (An exceptional poem because of its beauty and because its title is an exception to the i before e rule.)
  • What is the theme? What is the argument?
  • What do you see? New terms: rhyming couplet, personification, anaphora
  • HW: (1) Grammar 4.3 (2) Point to ponder: What effect is created by anaphora? Please write down your theory. (3) Can you come up with another example of a dactyl? Write it down in your notes.

Oct. 6

  • Homework report handed in at start of class.
  • Toadie: Misuse of personal pronoun I; e.g., "Please hand in your papers to Mr. Smith or me (not I)."
  • Review of i before e rule with practice.
  • New word: foot (a unit of meter)
  • Today's meter: dactylic dimeter, e.g., Wonderful bicycle! And we composed lines of dactylic dimeter on the blackboard.
  • Handout: Revised
ENG1D Unit 1 Reading List with Due Dates.docx
ENG1D Unit 1 Reading List with Due Dates.docx

ENG1D Unit 1 Reading List with Due Dates.docx
ENG1D Unit 1 Reading List with Due Dates.docx
. Remember that you can click on the link and download a copy if you lost yours.
  • I read the start of "Lamb to the Slaughter" aloud, checking comprehension through questions along the way.
  • 20 minutes to work on homework: Finish reading the story and do Grammar 4.4.

Oct. 7

  • Tricky Toadie! Use wording to avoid absolutes; say what is true and "for sure". Don't say say things as though they are "for sure" unless the evidence is proof-positive. Example, [following our quotation from "Lamb to the Slaughter" on page 13], "This proves suggests that Mary lives in a state that has the death penalty," or "These words tell us Mary is worried about her unborn child because she believes she could be given the death penalty for killing her husband." These statements are sufficiently supported by the words in the story and are also sufficient to demonstrate that the author is writing the story in such a way as to cause us to sympathize with his protagonist.
  • Pop Quiz for I Before E Rule with a weird exception for bonus points.
  • Today's meter: dactylic trimeter which contains three dactylic feet.
  • Practice for scansion: Encode the stressed and stressed syllables and then look for the patterns.
  • A real news report: We looked at a real newspaper report to see how it's done: headline with notes on what gets capitalized and what doesn't, subheading that's like a sentence but isn't grammatical, W5H, tab first sentence of each paragraph, paragraphs that are only one or two sentences long, a really objective emotionless voice in the reporter's statements, human emotions seen in the quotations, only one person quoted in each paragraph.
  • HW Grammar 4.5 and write the first five sentences of your news report for "Lamb to the Slaughter".

Oct. 8

  • Complete your news report for "Lamb to the Slaughter".
  • Continue working on exercises in your Grammar booklet.
  • Read ahead in your Sightlines 9 anthology--see your
ENG1D Unit 1 Reading List with Due Dates.docx
ENG1D Unit 1 Reading List with Due Dates.docx

ENG1D Unit 1 Reading List with Due Dates.docx
ENG1D Unit 1 Reading List with Due Dates.docx
  • Wish you a wonderful weekend you all! (in dactylic meter;-)

Oct. 13

  • Toadie: hither, thither, and yonder
  • Rhythm of the week: the anapest. Here is an example of an anapestic poem.
  • Meter of the day: anapestic monometer, e.g. Bicyclette!
  • Review of lesson from Wednesday regarding components and qualities of a news article. Many people have decided to take their newspaper articles home for improvement given today's review. We'll do a peer assessment tomorrow!
  • NOTE: When you are away, you need to obtain the lesson notes from your Study Buddy; i.e., you need to get the lesson notes and not just the handout when you're away so you can learn what was taught during your absence.
  • We viewed the MLK Speech once just to enjoy, and a second time to take notes on what exactly causes us to admire this speech. Students had 5 minutes to compare notes.
  • REMINDER: Quiz tomorrow! Components of a news report and literary terminology that has been covered so far.

Oct. 14

  • Quiz (literary terms, writing a newspaper report, use of apostrophe) and peer assessment
  • Toadie: subject-->verb-->object with examples
  • Meter of the day: anapestic dimeter (two anapestic feet) and trimeter (three anapestic feet) with example and practice for scansion.
  • Irony: What is it? What are three kinds?

Oct. 15

  • Student vote
  • Returned quizzes from yesterday. This quiz will be given again on Monday.
  • Collected homework from reading list: "The Conservationist".
  • Toadie: You is a problem (e.g., verbal irony): Thou, thee, thy, and thine with examples.
  • Meter of the day: anapestic tetrameter with a reading of an example (see anapestic poem posted Oct. 13)
  • "The Executioner" reading and explanation; as an example of dramatic irony
  • Narrative point of view: What does narrative mean? What is a narrative persona? What does first person point of view mean? What are some first person pronouns? Can you give an example of a poem or story we've read so far that is written in the first person point of view?
  • HW: Continue to follow the due dates on your reading list, do the next exercise in your Grammar booklet, and start to study for your quiz on Monday. If you're not sure of the right answer or what a term means, please come and see me.
Oct. 23
  • Toadie Update:
    • "based on": The movie is based on (not off of) the book.
    • "revolves around" or "centred ...

Tuesday, December 2
  • Writing practice and review (sentence structure, punctuation, Oxford comma): elements of fiction, elements of plot, types of allusions, types of conflict, and why it's useful to know all these.
  • Problem-Solved the Plot Diagram for "Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady" with specific corrections: Write informative sentences (no question-words), give specifics, complete the thought, close the gaps in logic.
  • Signed out the novel for this semester: Of Mice and Men.
  • Students who did not do yesterday's homework are to plot out "The Curio Shop".
  • At the end we viewed some short videos of Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady.
Wednesday, December 3
  • Start reading novel and write a brief description of the setting and characters to be handed in to the teacher at the end of the period.
Thursday, December 4
  • Here are chapter questions prompting short writing practices regarding Of Mice and Men. Work ahead if you can!
Of Mice and Men Chapter Questions Dec 4.docx
Of Mice and Men Chapter Questions Dec 4.docx
Of Mice and Men Chapter Questions Dec 4.docx
(Posted at 3:26 p.m. on Dec. 3)
Monday, December 7
ENG2D What Language is R&J.ppt
ENG2D What Language is R&J.ppt
ENG2D What Language is R&J.ppt

Tuesday, December 8
We started reading Twelfth Night aloud in class today. Today's lesson gave the answers to these questions. You can use these questions to study for your next test. Refer to the notes you took in class for the answers to these questions. (If you don't remember the answers, and you don't have them written down in your notes, this situation is telling you that you should consider having pen in hand while material is taught and discussed as a class so you can **record** the information that you hear.)
Historical Context
  1. What language is the play written in?
  2. Who wrote it?
  3. When?
  4. Where was it written and performed originally?
  5. Who went to plays at this time?
  6. Who was allowed to act back then?
  7. Were the customs "proper" during this time? What kind of entertainment did people enjoy?
  8. What genre is the play?
  9. Is it written the way people actually spoke? Explain.
  10. What kind of education would Shakespeare have received? What was it like for him to go to school?
  11. What was different about the things people learned back then? (Remember the rectangle analogy.)
Understanding the Play
  1. What's the difference between the historical context and the setting of the play?
  2. What is the setting of the play?
  3. How many acts are in every Shakespeare play? What does the number of acts suggest about the plot?
  4. We don't refer to page numbers when we direct a reader to lines in the play. What do we refer to?
  5. How do you symbolize a specific line in the text in a parenthetical reference? Give an example.
  6. What literary device is Shakespeare using when he uses the word hart--which sounds like heart--in Duke Orsino's opening speech of the play?
  7. How does Viola demonstrate her noble character in what we read today? Can you find and quote the line to support the idea that she has a noble character?
Keeping Track
At the end of the period, I showed you how to record a brief summary of the scenes we read aloud: 1.1 and 1.2.
Wednesday, December 9
Today we reviewed yesterday's learning and added to it. After today's class, you should know the answers to these questions. Do you remember the answers? Do you have them written down?
Historical Context
  1. What was the religion in Shakespeare's England? Given this knowledge, why does Shakespeare use classical allusions?
  2. Who was the queen at the time? What, then, do we call this historical and literary era?
  3. What three aspects of culture were blended during this historical and literary era?
  4. What did people in Shakespeare's time expect from knights? List numerous skills and qualities of character, making sure to include the ones that the knights in the play demonstrate, and the ones Shakespeare makes clear that they do not demonstrate. Could you quote the lines where this is made evident in the play? Which expectations are not addressed yet by Shakespeare in the dialogue of the play?
Understanding What You Read
  1. What is a mythology?
  2. Name some of the gods who were worshipped in ancient Greece and Rome (e.g., Eros or Cupid). Did people believe they were real back then?
  3. Did people in Shakespeare's England believe these Greek and Roman gods were real? Support your answer with a logical explanation as mentioned in class discussion. Why would Shakespeare allude to these gods in his characters' dialogue at all?
Understanding the Play
  1. [Teacher's note: Drawing logical inferences from figures of speech] When the play opens, Duke Orsino's speech is written very poetically; i.e., it contains many figures of speech such as similes and metaphors, which require you, the reader or listener, to use your thinking skills to sort out all the implications of what he's saying. He compares himself to a hart, and compares what to fierce, cruel hounds? What does this analogy suggest about how he feels about the fact that he's in love?
  2. [Teacher's note: Author's Style / Decorum] Later in his speech, he alludes to Cupid but doesn't say his name. Quote the line in the dialogue that alludes to Cupid. Do you recall how to do the parenthetical reference as taught yesterday? How are you supposed to know he's referring to Cupid (apart from it being in the reference notes)? (Here's a Thinking Question we didn't cover in class.) Why doesn't Shakespeare just say Cupid in that line? Why does he allude to Cupid at all if nobody in his play or in the audience even believes in the Greek or Roman gods? Why doesn't Shakespeare have Orsino just say that he's in love and that his feelings of love are out of his control instead of all the rigmarole in poetic language?
  3. [Teacher's note: Theme / Verisimilitude] Shakespeare depicts love as something that happens to somebody from an external force, as something an individual cannot control. How is this a universal and timeless element in his play?
Keeping Track
At the end of the period, I showed you how to record a brief summary of the scenes we read aloud: 1.3.
Thursday, December 10
(1) Students who feel confident enough to read ahead in Twelfth Night on their own should do so. (2) Students who have their novels with them at school should work towards their December 15 deadline for having read to the end of Chapter 4. The writing task is two solid, well-written paragraphs in response to questions posted in the on-line class journal December 4. (3) The remaining students are to work in their grammar booklet, completing exercises in their notebook and checking their answers in the booklet's answer key. (4) BTW you don't have an exam in English this year, which is why it's not on your exam schedule.
Monday, December 14
I received work on Of Mice and Men, which was due today.
Review and Writing Practice: Generating commentary on a specific quotation from Twelfth Night using the elements and fiction and other learned material as a basis for the thinking strategy of Self-Questioning. This technique is used to build the ability to activate higher order thinking processes AND incorporate learned material when answering in open-ended questions. This task was self-assessed.
Students read more of Act 1, Scene 5 aloud; explanations and questions were incorporated along the way.
Review and Writing Practice: Who are the "fools" in the play so far? Sentences were handed in.
Tuesday, December 15
Review and Writing Practice: List the characters Shakespeare makes "fools" of so far, and explain your reasoning using direct references to the play. (Composing properly-structured paragraphs should be the automatic method of responding to writing prompts in English class at this point in time.) The structure of the paragraph was peer-assessed, and the principles of writing a proper paragraph were reviewed and written on the blackboard. The relationship between the body sentences and the topic sentence was reviewed again, as was the content of the parenthetical references for Shakespeare's work.
A new point was taught: What is meant by "a direct reference to the play"?
A new understanding was taught: (Shakespeare's decorum) Why does Shakespeare make the dialogue switch back and forth between prose and verse?
Students finished reading Act 1 and read the first scene in Act 2 aloud. Explanations were given along the way; thinking-questions were posed and answered by students along the way.
Review and Writing Practice: Summaries for 1.5 and 2.1 were handed in.
Reminder: Homework on the handout from Dec. 11--"Use of Quotation Marks"
Wednesday, December 16
Students handed in their homework.
Review and Writing Practice: What connections can you draw between Shakespeare's characterizations and the setting of Twelfth Night? (For this task, you have to use knowledge of the literary elements mentioned in the prompt, knowledge of the play as discussed in class, and you have to make the connections clear. The paragraph has a topic sentence, body sentences that connect to the topic sentence, and a concluding sentence. All the sentences are complete, correct sentence structures, properly punctuated.) This was handed in.
The thinking process required to write this paragraph was written on the blackboard and taken up in class.
What level of thinking is involved when one writes an essay in English class?
Students read Act 2, Scene 2. Questions and clarifications were discussed.
A student pointed out the love-triangle that has been established in the plot.
A key quotations was recorded in notebooks and its relevance to the structure of Shakespeare's plots was illustrated on the blackboard. Various poetic devices at play in this quotation were pointed out: metaphor, personification, rhyme, and apostrophe.
New information: rhetorical apostrophe. What is rhetorical apostrophe? Can you give an example? Can you identify this technique if it's being used in something you're reading?
The spelling of soliloquy was written on the blackboard. What is a soliloquy? What goes on in one? What is it for?
Review and Writing Practice: Summary of 2.2 and the answer to this question: Why does Shakespeare change the form of the writing from prose to poetry halfway through the scene? These two sentences were handed in at the end of the period.
Students who had not handed in the homework were asked to do it for tomorrow. Those who didn't have a copy for one reason or another were given another copy.

Grade 10 English Semester 2, 2016

Feb. 2
  • Welcome to ENG2D!
  • "Identity" Short Film
  • Class discussion about the symbolism of certain props, music, and cinematography of the film
  • Writing Task: Summarize the ideas expressed during the class discussion (submitted for assessment)
  • Tour of this web site
  • Course Information Sheet
  • Sections to set up in your English binder
  • Handouts:
    • Learning Journal (Evaluation Tracking Chart)
    • "The Real Reason the Tortoise Beat the Hare"
    • Proofreading Codes
  • HW: Read the introductory section of "The Real Reason the Tortoise Beat the Hare"; read the first bullet and think of three ways you can apply these principles to English class.

Feb. 3
  • Snow Day!
  • Students who were in class worked on something we will be doing later in the semester.

Feb. 4
  • Handouts:
    • "Course Information Sheet"
    • News Report: "Threats Against Universities..."
  • Reviewed IMPORTANT notes in the text box on the Course Information Sheet
  • Work time to answer content questions (on blackboard) for "Threats Against Universities..."
  • Some time to compare answers in small groups
  • HW: Finish answering the questions if you didn't get finished during class.
  • HW:

Feb. 5
  • Notification: Quiz on Wed. on News Reports
    • content questions about "Threats Against Universities..."
    • worksheet on Style and Conventions of News Reports
    • definitions of words used in the news report we studied in class
  • More time to compare answers in small groups
  • Handout: Style and Conventions of News Reports
  • Time (25 min.) to work on this in class
  • HW: Finish the handout.

Feb. 8
  • Took up the homework on Style and Conventions of News Reports.
  • New Words (Vocabulary-Building): tangible, intangible, obliquely, context
  • HW: Look up any words from the news report that you don't understand.

Feb. 9
  • NOTIFICATION: Evaluation in one week: Writing a News Report (You will be given a prompt.)
  • Note to Parent from Ms. Russett
  • Literacy Test Practice--2 tasks (35 minutes)

Feb. 10
  • Quiz on News Reports

Feb. 11
  • Period 3 students did recycling today
  • Students handed in notes for Learning Skills Assessment
  • Signed out Sightlines 10 anthologies
  • Opportunity for reading ahead: "Borders" by Thomas King
  • You could read some news reports during the weekend in order to get a feel for the type of writing voice you're shooting for when you write a news report next week.
  • Happy long weekend! (PD Day tomorrow and Family Day on Monday)

Feb. 16
  • Snow day! The weekend's extra long for most of you!
  • I've decided to postpone the writing evaluation until Thursday to give you a chance to review your notes beforehand.
  • Today, students who finished reading "Borders" in their anthology went onto "The Face in the Pool".
  • I returned notes to students who were here.
  • Handout: News report samples to read in order to get a feel for the reporter's voice.
  • Also made note of the contrast in style and perspective between the reporter's voice (objective) and the voices in the quotations. While the reporter is detached, the people interviewed are often those who are affected by the event, so they're not detached or objective. They give variety and warmth--a human quality--to the articles.

Feb. 18-19
  • Worked on writing skills through dictation of sentences from a news article: capitalization, hyphenation, format of numbers, use of apostrophe, spelling, etc.
  • On Friday, these sentences (the application of the conventions) were peer-assessed.
  • The news reports students wrote for the Literacy Test Practice were assessed and conventions of writing news reports for print newspapers were reviewed.
  • Study Buddies were established.

Feb. 22
  • Handed out Grammar Booklets with full explanation and schedule for completion.
  • Discussed "Borders" and read "The Face in the Pool"

Feb. 23
  • Evaluation: Writing a News(paper) Report

Feb. 24
  • Pointed out the skills that are transferable from News Reports to (a) analytical essays and (b) writing stories.
  • Assigned short story writing task: either a historical fiction (a family love story) or a language story (high, medium, low level of education/language in the dialogue); length 700-900 words; about 10 days to write it from draft to polished story.
  • Lesson on how to format and punctuate dialogue with "Borders" and other stories from Sightlines 10 as writing models.
  • New term: in media res
  • New or reviewed terms: elements of fiction, characters, dialogue, narrative voice, point of view, omniscient and first person narrative points of view, plot, flashback, conflict, suspense, climax, irony (dramatic, situational, verbal)...
  • Point made of avoiding stereotypical or cartoon characterizations; try to create convincing characters and flex your 'language muscles' in your dialogue by displaying range and authenticity.
  • Point made of capturing the setting (place and time) in the details (reference to a popular song, verbal expressions, reference to an article of clothing

Feb. 25
  • Work period for short story and Grammar Booklet
  • Reviewed yesterday using web site
  • Pointed out students who do not remember the Elements of Fiction from last year should review on their own and use this resource as well: The Elements of Fiction
  • Pointed out an ambiguity on this web site regarding crisis.

Feb. 26
  • Media Literacy: Explained what it is and why we do it with examples and notes on blackboard. I also explained what critical thinking is, what it is not, and what it should sound like.
  • Internet News Report with Media Text Questions: (1) What form is it? (2) In what medium does it appear? (3) What is its purpose? (4) Who is the target audience?
  • We took up the questions.
  • Students copied the diagram on target audience found on the home page of this web site.

Mar. 1
  • Six Day's Worth? I collected drafts of the short stories to see how people are keeping up with the task of writing their short stories six days following the date it was assigned.
  • I read "Long Walk to Forever" by Kurt Vonnegut from Sightlines 10, and students generated a list of qualities they can try to apply in their own short stories.
  • I gave a lesson on where Shakespeare's work fits into a timeline of the history of the English language. Here's the Powerpoint Presentation:

  • I summarized the timeline on the blackboard.
  • I gave the Feb. 10 quizzes back to one class, but ran out of time for the other.

Mar. 2
  • I gave a timeline on the blackboard to put Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet in context and to dispel some misconceptions that can cause people to misinterpret the dramatic significance of certain events.
  • Worth noting: the feud mentality in Britain's history and the fierce loyalty of the comitatus.
  • The meaning of difficult words: hither, thither, yonder, thou, thee, thy, thine.
  • Proofreading exercise for dialogue.
  • Homework: Read and start learning The Elizabethan Worldview

Mar. 3
  • Thorough lesson on imagery with notes on blackboard.
    • use in figures of speech with examples (simile and dead metaphor)
    • appeal to the five senses
    • mixing senses
    • importance and specificity of the image (e.g. chocolate vs. dark chocolate)
    • figures that use imagery (simile, metaphor, personification, allusion, hyperbole)
    • literal vs. figurative imagery
    • sound imagery (e.g. the sound the word makes)
  • What does the images say about the thing or person being described?
  • What does the imagery say about how the speaker feels about the thing or person being described?
  • How does the image make you feel about the thing or person being described?
  • Does the image have a positive or negative connotation?
  • Terms to know: literary, literal vs. figurative, logical inference, positive or negative connotation, simile, metaphor, personification, allusion, hyperbole, imagery, concrete imagery, abstract imagery, literal imagery, sound imagery.
  • Here are two resources for reviewing or learning the terms: http://literarydevices.net/imagery/ and http://www.virtualsalt.com/rhetoric.htm
  • I handed out the rubric for the short story coming due on Monday:
  • Homework: To read and start learning the information in the following Powerpoint

Mar. 4
  • Why learn how to proofread dialogue??? The transferrable skills were pointed out.
  • Took up the first proofreading exercise (from two days ago).
  • Did another proofreading exercise today and took it up.

  • Finished taking up the News Report Quiz from Feb. 10.
  • Students who had their short story worked on that; others worked in their Grammar Booklet.
  • Due date for short story is Monday.

Mar. 7
  • Today students handed in their short stories and wrote a reflection on it.

Mar. 8
  • Today students wrote a quiz on the usage of the apostrophe by demonstrating their knowledge in a short story dialogue. A prompt was provided and the resulting students could be silly, but logical.

Mar. 9
  • Students who were absent for their Short Story Reflection or Apostrophe Quiz (Dialogue) worked on that today.
  • For the others, I explained that we have an issue with availability of books at the moment, so we're having a slight change in plans. We're going to do Animal Farm as a novel study now, and then come back to Romeo and Juliet after that.
  • I handed out the Animal Farm novels and collected Sightlines 10.
  • I also distributed a handout on the novel (green). Sorry, no electronic copies available.
  • HW: Look up the following words in a dictionary--dystopia, utopia, fable, allegory.

Mar. 10
  • Today was a quite work period to accommodate those students who are writing their story reflection or apostrophe quiz dialogue.
  • I collected homework: (1) definitions from yesterday and (2) your sentence that changes negative connotations to positive connotations in the imagery.
  • I also let everyone know about The Claremont Review Annual Writing Contest, which you can enter if you want to. You can enter the short story you just wrote for this class, or any poems you've written recently. You need to get your submission to the post office by March 15.

Mar. 11
How to write the cover letter for your contest entry.
How to format a business letter
Today's the last day before March Break!
  • I gave an explanation of finding the task of finding subjects and verbs in "Cracking the Sentence Code", discussing two difficult issues: "to be" is a verb, and the role of gerunds as subjects of sentences.
  • Complete sentences have a subject, a main verb, and they express a complete thought. Sentence fragments (incomplete sentences) are not necessarily shorter than complete sentences.
  • Reading Animal Farm: While the plot has a parallel narrative in the historical events in Russia, its value is not only to tell a history. The fact that it's expressed as a fable--an allegory--indicates the fact that it's driven by theme. Therefore, look beyond the historical parallels; look for the arguments inherent in Orwell's characterizations. Look for "timeless" and "universal" themes about human nature.
  • Vocabulary covered today: fable, allegory, narrative, fiction, nonfiction,

Mar. 21
  • Listening exercise: Read a student's story aloud.
  • Full lesson on narrative point of view--omniscient, limited, and first person--with examples and notes on board.
  • Questions for Animal Farm (handed out March 10) due tomorrow.

Mar. 22
  • Collected homework (Animal Farm, Chapter 1 questions)
  • Reading Exercise--Yesterday's student story
    • Observation--it's easier to comprehend a text when you can read it for yourself. You can slow it down and refer to previous parts. Please remember this when we read Shakespeare.
  • Took up simile and alliteration question.
  • "Terms to Know" from list of terms is due in one week. (You need to look up the words and know what they mean.)
  • Showed how to find "Handbook of Rhetorical Devices" on the home page of this web site, under Information and Resources was shown again to Period 3. (NTS: Show Period 4 tomorrow)
  • Tomorrow's Opinion Piece in response to Animal Farm, Chapter 2 was outlined.

Mar. 23
  • In-class Writing Assignment for Chapter 2 of Animal Farm for Peer Assessment
  • Topic Options
    • Is the revolution a good idea?
    • Are Orwell's characterizations sexist?
    • Can Old Major's dreams come to fruition after he dies?

Mar. 24 Posted at 9:30 a.m.
  • Today's a snow day! You lucky ducks!
  • As promised, here are the questions for Chapter 3. These are to be completed today and handed in on Tuesday. Remember that you have also been looking up the poetry terms from the list you got long long ago. As stated on Tuesday, you'll have a quiz on these when we return, so I hope you've been chipping away at that. You'll find good definitions and examples in A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices.

Chapter 3 Comprehension and Thinking Questions on Animal Farm

  1. How well do the animals work together?
  2. Who among the workers is the most admired? How is he valuable to the pigs?
  3. Why does Benjamin say, "Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey"?
  4. To what do the "hoof and horn" on the flag correspond in history?
  5. How much do the reading and writing lessons accomplish?
  6. The sheep's chant, "Four legs good, two legs bad" symbolizes whom?

  1. Is the society of Animal Farm a classless one?
  2. What is significant about the quarrels between Napoleon and Snowball?
  3. How does reducing the Seven Commandments reflect Orwell's ideas about totalitarianism and what happens after revolutions?
  4. What is significant about Napoleon's taking away the puppies?
  5. What episode causes Squealer to use trickery?
  6. Does the work on the farm conform to the ideal of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need"?

Vocabulary: Look up the definition of each of these words in accordance with their usage in the chapter.
  1. grudging
  2. parasitical
  3. obstinate
  4. cryptic

Have a great long weekend!

Mar. 29
  • Collected homework from Thursday (See above)
  • Design Competition deadline April 25.
  • "Gore" handout: Practice for Identification
  • Lesson on narrative point of view with examples described and notes on blackboard.

Mar 30
  • Review exercise for narrative POV
  • Notes on board on irony and the different types of irony
  • Peer assessment of opinion pieces for chapter 2
  • Handing back of notes on how to write a news report

Mar. 31
  • Period 3 - Talked about the OSSLT and then looked at ironic youtube videos, including Alanis Morrissette's video "Ironic", which, ironically, contains examples of irony that are not ironic.
  • (Not) Ironic
  • (Not) Ironic lyrics
  • Parody: Finally Ironic
  • Period 4 went to an assembly.

Reach Ahead
You can read the novel Animal Farm.
You can finish your Grammar Booklet.

https://math.dartmouth.edu/~matc/Readers/renaissance.astro/3.1.Castle.html (Image of woodcut only, not the text)

April 1 - Happy April Fools' Day!
  • Collected homework from two days ago: Opinion Piece for Chapter 4
  • Notes on blackboard on the difference between parody and satire--two forms that employ irony.
  • An example of parody was shown yesterday (Period 4 can watch it online; it's posted in yesterday's entry.)
  • Today's example of parody is Monty Python's The Holy Grail
  • Today's example of satire is Daffy: The Commando (1943)
  • Lesson on symbolism, cultural-specific symbols and internal symbolism, dictionaries of symbolism
  • I read three student exemplars of the News Article Evaluation in response to "Borders" and "The Face in the Pool".
  • The make-up task for that will happen on Wednesday, and will be in response to Animal Farm. You will want to be up-to-date on your readings.

April 4
  • Review of types of irony with a full explanation of situational irony. The movie The Sixth Sense is a great example.
  • Two types of verbal irony taught today: understatement and anti-climax
  • Terms related to metaphor: motif, pattern of imagery, recurring image, extended metaphor, allegory, symbolism
  • Reminder that the make-up task for the writing of a news report evaluation is happening on Wednesday. You can bring your novel, but if you forget, you will have to use your memory.
  • Read a student exemplar again today. The task was to listen for (a) different types of irony and (b) observations of why it may have earned Level 4.
  • Took up the exercise for "Gore" (from March 29); distinguished between strong and weak examples of different types of figures of speech: metaphor, simile, personification, allusion, and alliteration.
  • Gave 15 minutes at the end of class to work in partners on Chapter 5 questions which are due tomorrow. Here's an online copy of the questions:

April 5-7
  • Gave a full lesson on symbolism: showed some published dictionaries of symbolism and explained why relying on Internet sources to research literary use of symbolism is NOT a good idea; explained the difference between cultural symbols and internal symbols in literature, and gave examples.
  • read a couple more student short stories and students listened for elements in the story that relate to the principles that have been taught, i.e., elements of fiction and literary devices (e.g., characterization, recognizing different types of irony, symbolism, etc.)
  • Gave a thinking question in the form of a request for an opinion regarding Sarah Ellis' use of figures of speech in "Gore".
  • Regarding the question above, explained the difference between an unsubstantiated (empty, unsupported, and/or based) opinion and an "opinion" that is a formulation of knowledge and logic.
  • Conclusion: Explained what critical thinking is (and what it's not).
  • On the same "Gore" question, explained the difference between generic explanations and explanations involving critical thinking (knowledge of the text + knowledge of the specific type of figure + thought). I explained why this understanding will be necessary in this grade.
  • Chapter 6 writing composition: Four prompts were written on the blackboard. Students answer all of them, writing a paragraph containing quotations for support for each prompt.
  • These have been collected.

April 8

April 11
  • Grammar Quiz as promised.
  • Explained the difference between and opinion and an argument.
  • Chapter 8: Writing prompts for a four-paragraph argumentative piece due by the end of the period tomorrow.
  • HW If you don't think you'll get done by the end of the period tomorrow, spend 15 or 20 minutes getting started tonight.
  • These are brief summaries of the prompts. If you were away, you would be wise to get the full prompt from your Study Buddy. Prompt #1--Satire: Use quotations from Chapter 8 and elsewhere that show that Animal Farm is not appropriate reading material for young children even though it's written in fable form. Prompt #2--Symbolism: Make the messages in the novel relevant to today and to you. Use quotations from the chapter and elsewhere as you explain how materialistic interests pacify and distract citizens who unwittingly cooperate with those who are exploiting them. What pacifiers are distracting you from investments and pursuits that will raise your economic standing in the long run?

April 12
  • Collected Short Story corrections
  • Writing period for Chapter 8 prompts.
  • Students handed this in by the end of the period. Students who have finished reading the novel worked ahead.
  • HW: Read Chapter 9 if you haven't done that yet.
  • Don't forget to stay up-to-date on your grammar exercises. Now you're working on "Solving Sentence Fragment Problems". By April 19th, you know what independent clauses and dependent (subordinate) clauses are. Notice that your quiz for this chapter is April 26.

April 13
  • Took up the Grammar Quiz. (Note: Since all of the questions for this quiz were taken directly from the grammar booklet--with all of the answers in the back of the booklet--there was a clear potential to achieve 100% for students who did their homework.)
  • Questions for Chapter 9 were handed out. Some time was given in class but not enough to complete the rest for homework, so you'll have a bit of time to work on this in class again tomorrow.
  • Here are the questions for Chapter 9:
  • Evaluation on Animal Farm in one week announced today.

April 14
  • Although I was supposed to give you time to work on Chapter 9, I decided to start taking questions up in preparation for your evaluation next week (Sorry.) For that reason, I didn't insist on your handing in the Chapter 9 questions by the end of the period.
  • The answers for the straightforward content questions for Chapter 1 and 3 were written on the blackboard today. We started our discussion regarding thinking questions.
  • Here is the link for the handout I gave out at the end of class today. Integrating Quotations Into Your Sentences Explanation and Self-Assessment (Relocated here on Apr. 16 at 8:00 a.m., moved from "Reaching Ahead?", which was posted on April 8 at 3:00 p.m.; is always on the Home page under "Information and Resources")

April 15
  • Three big ideas were written on the blackboard. Within those were the difference between an opinion and an argument, the two essential elements of logic, what is essential for an argument to stand, what critical thinking is, and why knowledge is an essential ingredient.
  • I reviewed the lesson from April 6 regarding the difference between unsubstantial opinions (generic explanations, over-generalized information, unsupported or unsupportable statements, premised on absence of knowledge, and personal bias) and arguments that are premised on points of accurate knowledge and understanding of course material.
  • The skill of using critical thinking and stating arguments based on accurate knowledge is "the destination" of passengers boarding ENG2D 'Academic' to ENG3U 'University'.
  • Read a handful of reasonable-to-successful student exemplars.
  • Discussed messages conveyed through characterizations in Animal Farm.
  • I talked about what was going to be on the evaluation. I also pointed out that, to alleviate pressure for time, I will split the test in two. Wednesday will be content questions and definitions of literary terms and chapter worksheet vocabulary words. Thursday will be a short written composition following the structure that has been taught in class. You may use your novel in order to quote from it.
  • I told students they can get started on working on learning how to embed quotations into their sentences with proper punctuation by reading the handout given yesterday. I also told them they can do the quiz for it if they go to the link and find the quiz. (See yesterday's journal entry).

April 18
  • The answers for the chapter questions were written on the blackboard.
  • Students got into groups to share answers and discuss the novel.
  • Gave a lesson on how to write the introduction for your essay. You will want to apply this lesson in your written composition on Thursday. Here is the information from the overhead, as promised.

April 19
  • Reviewed for the evaluation tomorrow
  • Gave pointers regarding the paper (evaluation) to be written on Thursday
  • Students had time to share their writings with one another.
  • One student asked if you can use your notes during the evaluation on Thursday, and I said okay. You may have your English binder, your novel, and you may use a dictionary on Thursday.

Here's the online version of your novel again: Animal Farm (Posted here on April 1; originally posted in ENG2D Journal 1 before March Break)

April 25
  • Started watching Animal Farm.
  • Some notable points from the discussion: the characters are flattened, no longer round, dynamic characters; the historical layer is done away with, probably to appeal to a younger audience who would not be ready for or interested in Russian politics; a great deal of the complexity of the novella was edited out to facilitate the time limit of a movie and help the plot move along more quickly; while details that make the novel interesting for adults were edited out, details that would appeal to a child were added. The result is a thin, flattened product that is unsatisfying for students who enjoy intellectually stimulating material. Nevertheless, students do want to continue tomorrow, (troupers!) so they'll add popcorn and see if that helps.
  • Sentence Fragment quiz postponed to Wednesday due to film.
  • Quiz on Thursday: (1) The Elizabethan Worldview--Tillyard in a Nutshell (See Mar. 2 ENG2D Journal entry or the link lives permanently on my home page under "Information and Resources) and (2) PPP on "Terms Associated with Tragedy" (See Mar. 3 entry or, as with the Elizabethan Worldview site, under "Information and Resources" on my home page.)

April 26
  • Finished watching Animal Farm.
  • We related the raven's physical gestures during the execution scene to the Moses' symbolic role in the novel.
  • Students critiqued the movie. Points of note: the absence of dialogue, the role of visuals that tell the story, and that without a knowledge of the novel, one would never be able to get the depth of understanding of what is in the novel simply by watching the movie version.
  • Students were asked to ponder two questions: (1) To what degree are living on 'Animal Farm' so to speak. Ask your parents about their experiences in the world of work to see if there are any connections between their experiences and those of the animals in the novel. (2) What pacifiers keep people complacent, and prevent them from rebelling?
  • Reminder of quiz tomorrow.

April 27
  • A poem was handed out. Students were asked to ponder it and formulate some ideas to share tomorrow.
  • Quiz on identifying the difference between correct sentence structure and sentence fragments.
  • I shared student examples of responses to yesterday's thinking questions regarding Animal Farm. (Identities were kept anonymous.)
  • How to write a statement of theme
  • Two major themes of Animal Farm
  • Reminder of quiz tomorrow re; Elizabethan Worldview and "Terms Associated with Tragedy" (See Mar. 2 and 3 journal entries.)

Reaching Ahead?
  • Use the "Handbook of Rhetorical Devices" link on the home page (as shown previously in the course) to review your knowledge
  • Work ahead in your Grammar Book to improve your application of the Conventions of English when your write your evaluations.
Journal for May

May 2
  • Students took notes from blackboard regarding parenthetical references and how to use quotations in their academic writing.
  • I gave an explanation of how to succeed as we read Romeo and Juliet: the importance of paying attention during class and not relying on study guides and movies. Your reading comprehension is not gauged by your ability to read a study guide, and I know you can say what happens in a movie you watched. In order to earn Level 3 and Level 4 marks for reading comprehension and understanding form and style, you will need to learn what I'm teaching, and you'll need to learn how to read the play itself. Your homework every night and again before class is to reread what we've read in class, and reread your notes so you can absorb lessons in time for the next class.
  • Students started reading Romeo and Juliet aloud.

May 3
  • Completed notes on quotations and parenthetical references with thorough explanation.
  • Students continued to read Act 1, Scene 1 aloud. Covered with Period 3 class, fire pattern of imagery, Benvolio and Tybalt conflict, oxymora, and the correlation between the chaos of the body politic (Verona) and the protagonist (Romeo).
  • Taught terms: recurring image and pattern of imagery with impromptu examples of references to time. (Oral Communication) Started tracking fire, other elements to follow.
  • Here is the Castle of Knowledge. You only need to know what I taught on Friday regarding the symbolic images. However, here are some notes on it for "enrichment"

May 10
  • We've been reading Romeo and Juliet, and I've been directing the interpretation towards an application of the Elizabethan worldview.
  • HW
    • How does Shakespeare reveal the private thoughts of a character when he/she is alone onstage?
    • How does he reveal the private thoughts of a character when there are other characters onstage?
    • (Period 4 only) Creative Problem-Solving: If you were Romeo or Juliet, what would you do now? In other words, how would you proceed so you can avoid a lot of drama?

May 12

  • Evaluation on Romeo and Juliet in one week.

May 13

  • Homework due Tuesday on similes (yellow handout distributed today)
    1. What is the abstract thing the speaker is talking about in the simile?
    2. What is the concrete thing he/she is comparing the abstract thing to?
    3. Given the fact that the concrete thing is the speaker's choice of imagery, what does that choice of image tell you about how that speaker feels about the abstract thing?
    4. Does the image contribute to a recurring imagery established in the play so far?
    5. What other poetic devices do you see in the given excerpt?

May 18
  • Took up the second half of the exercise distributed May 13; first half was taken up yesterday.
    • Yesterday I gave a revision to the common definition of simile with explanation
    • Today, students continued to practise their understanding of the difference between abstract and concrete with regard to the concept represented in the similes.
    • Focussed on the concrete image in each simile to practise the language skills of describing how the speaker feels about the concept he/she is describing
    • Further developed recurring images in the play and poetic devices:
      • alliteration and consonance (great job thinking about the way sounds create a mood or image that accords with what the speaker is saying!)
      • euphony and cacophony (Definitions and explanations were given. What are two ways cacophony is created?)
      • hyperbole
      • rhyme, rhyming couplet
  • Returned quizzes on Great Chain of Being and the Language of Tragedy, and took it up.
  • Gave outline of tomorrow's evaluation: (1) a quotation we've already discussed; (2) applying skills practised in class on a quotation we have not discussed; (3) a thinking question that causes reflection on what we've read so far and applying material taught regarding Elizabethan worldview. Also review use of apostrophe and how to smoothly and grammatically integrate quotations into your sentences.

May 19
  • Today was the evaluation for Romeo and Juliet, the first half of the play.
  • The following important dates were announced:
    • Satirical Cartoons due Wednesday, May 25
    • Presentations on those cartoons (or your performance of a scene from Romeo and Juliet) begin May 30th
    • Final Evaluation for Romeo and Juliet, the whole play, on June 1
    • In-class Summative Production, June 2-8. This is an in-class activity (like an exam); although you can think about it at home, you are not allowed to do production at home and then add it to your summative folder.
    • Summative Presentations, June 9-13
    • Poetry and Review for the Exam: June 2 to the end of semester.
    • Exam Date: Period 3 students write on Day 3 of the Exam Period, Period 4 students write on Day 4 of the Exam Period.

Grade 10 English, Semester 2, 2015

Feb. 2

Feb. 3
  • ROUTINE! Put a title and the date on everything you write. Write your first and last name (or initial) on everything you hand in.
  • Learning Journal: We're going to start to tally up the skills you're exercising in English class. Students copied a list of skills from the blackboard with one strand per page: Media Literacy skills, Reading Skills, Writing Skills, and Listening Skills. Keep these on separate pages and we'll add to the list as we go along through the semester.
  • Reviewed some terms as an extension of our viewing of the short film yesterday: persona, narrative, symbolism, allegory, foreshadowing. Definitions and examples for these terms can be found by clicking the link called "Literary Terms" under the heading "Information and Resources" on the home page of this web site.
  • On the theme of identity, here's a news report that deals with identity:
  • Attached to this handout was a set of instructions on how to write a news story. You will find these instructions on the home page of this web site, under the heading "Information and Resources."
  • HW: Exercise 20.1 in the handout on Quotation Marks

Feb. 4
  • Writing session (20 minutes)--draft 1 of biography. In this stage you're thinking about making the language level and style suit the purpose, form, audience, and context (where this biography would authentically be published). Next, as you type it up, select and font and layout that suits the publication or venue.
  • "How to Write a News Story" source can be found on the home page of this web site, under "Information and Resources". On your own, see if you can make observations on how the sample news report fulfills the criteria described in the "How to" handout.
  • Viewing Session: Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian.
  • HW: What are you listening (and watching) for? 1(a) I learned that... OR (b) I already knew all this:...; 2. The statement that really stuck with me was.... (Provide either a direct quotation with quotation marks OR a paraphrase which has no quotation marks.) The reason this statement stayed with me is...; 3. The scene or shot that stood out for me was.... I thought it did a good job of showing ....

Feb. 5
  • Watched more of the film Reel Injun and discussed some issues involving racism and representation along the way.
  • HW Start typing up your biography, taking the following into consideration: the language suits the type of publication, the font and layout are suitable and readable, you're incorporating format, layout, and visual features that enhance the piece.

Feb. 6
  • done in partners. Extensions: Indicating the start of paragraphs with an indent (MLA manuscript style) and knowing why, knowing that high school is two words, using a capital letter on English and other languages even when the word is used as a simple adjective, using the Oxford comma and why.
  • Study Buddies coming up on Monday.
  • Took up 20.1. Extensions: Correct-but-vague sentences, colon, and comma.
  • HW for Monday--biographies (Assessment chart was provided at the end of the period.)
  • HW for Tuesday--"Quotation Marks" 20.2.

Feb. 9

Feb. 10

Feb. 11

Feb. 12
  • Notes from blackboard: simile and metaphor. Remember that there are links to support your learning on the home page of this web site under "Information and Resources". Helpful links might be "Literary Terms" and "A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices".
  • I pointed out some stylistic devices that were used in the wording of the instructions for the Colon exercise: alliteration, parallel structure, simile, idiom, rhetorical question, metaphor, recurring image, and motif.
  • Period 1 received a final copy of the First Week Reflection piece as a visual example of an academic essay or long answer on a test.
  • Have a great long weekend! We'll see you on Tuesday!

Feb. 17
  • Notes for Learning Journal: What to do when you're away; what to bring to class; how you've exercised different English skills (curriculum strands) during the first two weeks of the semester.
  • Covered target audience quickly.
  • Did review of simile with PPP:

  • One class did the PPP on the language of Romeo and Juliet:
  • All of this was accompanied by a brief description of the history of the English language, where Latin came into the picture and why, why common single-syllable words stem from Old English (Anglo-Saxon), and why we find long languid expressions pretentious (apr├Ęs Norman Conquest). The bottom line is that Shakespeare's not Old English! It's Early Modern English.

Feb. 18
  • Pop quiz on simile.
  • Review of language issues and where Shakespeare is on the English language continuum; note that Latin, Old English (Anglo-Saxon), Middle English, and Early Modern English have capital letters because they are names of languages. The class that didn't get the "What Language is Romeo and Juliet?" PPP from yesterday received it today.
  • Started Romeo and Juliet: Prologue. The play's not a romance; it's a tragedy. Why the prologue is a sonnet.
  • One class started reading Act. 1, Scene 1.
  • HW: Please read this story by Friday "Borders" by Thomas King

Feb. 19
  • Provided my corrections: "windowpane" is one word, and ages (fourteen-year-old) is hyphenated when used as an adjective before a noun (I'm a fourteen-year-old student.) and noun (I'm a fourteen-year-old.). It is not hyphenated, however, in this type of sentence: "I am fourteen years old." For more on hyphenation, see the links on the home page of this web site under "Information and Resources".
  • Demonstrated the relevance of religious belief through analogy of sneaking out of the house to go to church to convey the level of faith in the history of Shakespeare's audience. Gave a brief history of the religious and political turmoil stemming from Queen Elizabeth's father, King Henry VIII, pointing out that Queen Elizabeth was the daughter of her father's mistress, and the Queen of England following the reign of her sister, "Bloody" Mary. I pointed out the meaning of heresy, the ancient penalty of burning at the stake, and also the relevance of the history of pre-Christian Britain to understanding the level of loyalty embodied by members of feuding tribes, or in the case of the play, households. I pointed out the detail of Benvolio's reference to Tybalt as "fiery" in one of the classes. The word "fiery" is complex; it contains contradictory values.
  • Finished reading Act 1, Scene 1, and we looked at some of the commonalities between Duke Orsino and Romeo as victims of unrequited love. In terms of language, Shakespeare writes their dialogue in overblown poetic language, but to different ends. Romeo is a young lover while Orsino is a pompous Duke.
  • Handout on Act 1 was distributed at the end of the period.
Feb. 20
  • Review Act 1, Scene 1 and do tasks in the handout distributed at the end of class yesterday. (This handout is not available online.)

Feb. 23
  • Scheduled evaluations for March 4 and 5.
  • Discussed the short story "Borders" (See Feb. 18 journal entry).
    • What's it about? Plot, Response, and Theme
    • The difference between motif and theme
    • Distancing oneself in order to pick up on theme (distinguishing response from theme)
    • How to determine theme
      • What's the central conflict? How does it get resolved? How are we supposed to feel about the way it gets resolved in the end (resolution / denouement) ?
      • Who's the protagonist and who's the antagonist? Who get's valorized? Who is demonized?
      • How is the imagery being used to sway or slant the reader or audience?
      • Who's telling the story? Who is the narrator? Does the narrator have an angle? Does thinking about the narrator's character (first person narration) help you formulate logical inferences?
      • Who's the writer and historical or cultural context of the story? Does this information help you make logical inferences about the theme?
    • Determining whether the messages or argument of the piece accords with your own value system. To what degree to you agree with the messages the story is communicating?
  • Relevance of "Borders" to Romeo and Juliet? (1) Lesson on how to determine theme (the overall message or argument). (2) Distinguishing between the text's messages and your own beliefs (agreeing or disagreeing with the values reified by the text). (3) Text-to-text Connection: identity.

Feb. 24
  • Two handouts were given: Irony and a sample of a satirical news report about Romeo and Juliet.
  • I gave a full lesson on irony, describing examples and making reference to the works studied so far.
  • HW: 1) Identify the ironies in the article; 2) Point out the bits of information that were drawn from the play; 3) Point out the bits of information that were invented, but are supported logically from the play; 4) Review what you know about language so far.
  • We read Act 1, Scene 2.

Feb. 25
  • Informational Lessons: There are specialized dictionaries. What is an etymology dictionary?
  • We reviewed some points about language by looking up words in an on-line etymology dictionary.
  • If Shakespeare wants to characterize someone as rustic, how can he do that through language?
  • some Old English words: thou, thee, thy, thine, hither, thither. These remain in common usage in Shakespeare's time.
  • Since Shakespeare lived and wrote during the Early Modern English period, some Old English words were old-fashioned in Shakespeare's time: troth, trow, sooth, quoth, rood. Shakespeare writes these old-fashioned expressions into whose language, and why?
  • We read Act 1, Scene 3 and discussed the character of the Nurse.
  • HW Please be able to show that you have read this resource that gives you some insight into the Elizabethan worldview: Tillyard in a Nutshell

Feb. 26
  • Handouts: (1) Corrections arising from the sonnet quiz and biographies, (2) Values: Translation of "The Parson's Tale" from The Canterbury Tales, and (3) Integrating Quotations.
  • Imagery using the four elements; positive and negative associations.
  • Lady Capulet's speech Act. 1, Scene 3: Where is the love?
  • English pronunciations: Madam, visage, wanton
  • HW: (1) If you did not get the handouts read during class, please read them, (2) reread what we've covered in the play so far, and (3) read ahead to prepare yourself to hear it read and explained in class.

Feb. 27
  • Reviewed the play so far taking structure, juxtapositions, symbolism, parallelisms, and contrasts into consideration. The review involved applying previous lessons and content of supporting materials (Great Chain web site and Values in Texts handout).
  • Read Act 1, Scene 4.
  • HW: Prepare for your evaluations on Mar. 4 and 5. Some things that will help are rereading what we've read and discussed in class, read ahead, review and reflect upon lessons and handouts.

Mar. 2
  • Period 2 had a class today, but Period 1 went to the auditorium for the Jeff Wright storyteller.
  • Period 2 reviewed the following: took up the definition of simile and the simile quiz, the concept of figures of speech, abstract concepts and emotional truths in imaginative literature, imagery and completion, (All of this sounds very fancy.), conventions of news reports, started to take up the "Escalus" satirical article, example of a rubric. Students had an opportunity to ask lots of questions.

Mar. 23 - First day back after MARCH BREAK
  • Assembly for Literacy Test is happening this afternoon, and you formulated questions. The actual Literacy Test is happening on Thursday.
  • Big ideas: Nothing to excess (ancient Greek maxim)
  • dichotomy and antithesis: love versus hatred; excess as passion (love or hatred); naught (nought)
  • appearance versus reality: Juliet's "I should have been more strange" speech which points us towards some questions about "lovers' perjuries", or on a broader scale, the problem of social conventions. To what degree can what people say (possible lies) or do (possible hypocrisy) reveal one's true self? Irony: Why does the act of not loving someone (acting coy) considered the sign that someone's love is true; why is it necessary to veil one's "true" love?
  • other questions: ignorance, innocence, and moral intelligence
  • new term: soliloquy

Apr 1 - 2
  • We're in Act 3. I have been pointing out elements, techniques, and images that were present in the first half of the play and are inverted or distorted in the second half.
  • Why does Romeo kill Tybalt? Who or what caused that to happen? Romeo, Tybalt, Juliet, Mercutio, Shakespeare, Fortuna, God, Satan, Cupid, choice, free will, the feud, love, loyalty, vengeance, ignorance, evil, madness, passion, lack of self-control, chance... Level 3 is a smattering of logical and well-supported answers; Level 4 and 4+ might either (a) provide a smattering, select the best, demonstrate why it's the best, and show the relative weakness in the others OR (b) synthesize answers and show how multiple (even seemingly contradictory) answers true at the same time. Avoid plot summary, avoid the argument that your answer is true because it's your opinion, it's what you think, believe, feel, or that's how you read it. Arguments are premised on knowledge and supported with direct references (quotations) from the text. Include understanding of connotation, symbolism, and associations attached to images in your quotations. Try to pull yourself out of the plot and the characters and look at what they symbolize: the concepts.
  • Retry for newspaper article happens on Wednesday.

April 7
  • Little quiz to assess use of apostrophes.
  • Grammar Review booklets and assignment sheet issued.
  • Read Romeo and Juliet
  • Term: enjambement (also: enjambment)
  • Reminder: Retry for newspaper article happens tomorrow.
  • HW Apostrophe 4.1 and 4.2

April 8
  • Some students did a "retry" for the newspaper evaluation from Mar. 5.
  • Two exercises were taken up:
    • archaic pronouns (thou, thee, etc.) involving understanding subject and object of verbs
    • identifying poetic devices in a short prose expressive text involving perception of both sound and pictorial imagery; e.g., cadence, consonance, assonance, imagery, allusion, expressive or demonstrative structure, effective parallel structure, climactic parallel structure.
      • a narration that describes the external appearance of a writer experiencing inspiration
      • an expressive narration that has both a literal plot and a symbolic representation of inspiration
  • HW Apostrophe 4.3 and 4.4

April 9
  • We read Romeo and Juliet with explanations and discussions along the way.
  • HW: The following will support your ability to express informed insights about what you've read, and it will help you say things that make sense in light of how tragedies were written long ago. You also have your grammar review work to help you chip away at any grammatical issues you may need to work on. Please make up a work schedule that fits into your schedule, one that will accord with your goals of achievement. The more you know, the more you see, the stronger your ideas, the better you will do...

April 10
  • Read Romeo and Juliet with explanations and discussions along the way.
  • See homework tasks above.

April 22
  • As of today, you did your Romeo and Juliet test and you've told me you'd like to watch the video versions of it. Presently, we're watching the Zeffirelli version. After that, we'll watch West Side Story.
  • Yesterday, you received a copy of Resourcelines 9/10, with instructions to start reading Chapter 4.
  • Today was the second installment of writing practices to practice writing sentences. The goal is to practice (a) the thinking skill of generating things to say quickly and fluently, and (b) write three sentences that are free of elementary errors. You got yesterday's writing practice back. The less pink there is on it, the better you did.
  • HW: Read the subsection of Chapter 4 devoted to film techniques.

April 23
  • We celebrated Shakespeare's birthday today!
  • As we watch the Zeffirelli version of Romeo and Juliet, we are discussing examples of different types of film techniques, direction, editing, music, symbolic props, lighting effects, symbolic costuming. Analysis shows a shift in emphasis and theme in accordance with its transformation from its Elizabethan ethos into an accessible, marketable product that reflects a more modern values and commercial tastes.

April 29
  • We've been watching West Side Story and you've been pointing out similarities and differences from Shakespeare's play. Key points involve film techniques and shifts in meaning in response to the commercial agendas and different cultural values of the audiences.
  • I've been correcting your Media Worksheets and returning them the same day.
  • Today we restarted the writing practices, having taken up the previous ones. This is your chance to show your improvement because this week's prompts are the same as last week's!
  • Remember that the "Solving Sentence Fragments" quiz is tomorrow.
  • Remember that your Media Literacy evaluation is on Monday!
  • Tomorrow, you hand in the work for both sides of Worksheet #4 "Television and Print News" and "Advertisements" at the start of class so that by tomorrow, you will have completed the assigned readings and worksheets for Chapter 4. If you lost your worksheets, please help yourself by printing them off from the link in the April 22 posting above.

April 30
  • Here are some questions regarding your novel study for those who would like to get started:

May 13
Here is a rubric for your presentations.

Schedule of Presentations:
  • May 13 (postponed to May 14) - Chapter 5
  • May 14 - Chapter 6
  • May 15 - Chapter 7
  • May 19 - Chapter 9
  • May 20 - Chapter 10
May 21 - Animal Farm Evaluation (with Film clip analysis)
May 27 - "Owed to Earth" Formalistic Analysis of Structure is due.
  • Poem was discussed on May 14 and 15.
  • Essay topic and due date announced May 15.
  • The handout with rubric was distributed on May 19.
  • There was time to work on this in class on May 21 for those who completed the test.
May 28 - Review (Test) on Poetry

June 1
  • Make-up test for people who were away on Friday.
  • Others either (a) worked in their Grammar duotang, improving their knowledge of language conventions so they can improve their writing, or (b) practised answering the exam questions on a sample poem.
  • Reminder of quiz on integrating quotations smoothly and grammatically into your sentences.

EXAM: See Exam Schedule for date and time.
  • Examination content has been taught and reviewed continually throughout the semester.
  • Focussed review started May 14.
  • Exam questions and practice poem ("The Bird") distributed on May 15.

Grade 9 English, Semester 2, 2015

Feb. 2
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  • Written response: Do you agree with the government-sanctioned surveillance measures described in the article? Write a paragraph that expresses your opinion.
  • HW: Please put dividers on the shopping list so you can organize your binder.
  • HW: Write down 10 questions that you can ask another person in the class to interview them.

Feb. 3
  • ROUTINE! Put a title and the date on everything you write. Make sure you put your first and last name (or initial) on everything you hand in.
  • Today, students established a list of words to study and incorporate into their vocabulary: glean, facsimile, covert, overt, surveillance, prosecution, legislation, controversial, clout, espionage, amend, telecom, broaden the scope, cloak and dagger, subversion, propaganda, warrants, sabotage, seizure, financial. QUIZ one week from today.
  • Students conducted interviews with peers and wrote down the answers.
  • HW: Exercise 20.1 in the handout on "Quotation Marks".

Feb. 4
  • (I had to leave school because I was ill.) Reading/Writing Activity was done and collected.

Feb. 5
  • Explanation of learning process and evaluations: (a) learn the material (b) assessment to see if you've learned it (c) either an evaluation or reteach the material.
  • POP Spelling Quiz to see how far you've come along with your studying. I added five commonly misspelled words.
  • You handed in the homework you did on "Quotation Marks".
  • 20 minutes to write first draft of your biography.
  • Observing the News Report structure in our "Spy agency" news article: 15 minutes to copy questions from blackboard, get into partners and start answering them. (1) Can you answer the questions in the W5H from what's written in the first few sentences of the article? (2) Describe the difference in language between the reporter's sentences and the sentences in quotation marks. (3) Give three examples of details found near the end of the article that are less gripping or interesting than the details found near the beginning.

Feb. 6

Feb. 9
  • Returned pop quiz on spelling; reminder to study words for quiz tomorrow.
  • HW for Tuesday, "Gore" Extended Activity #1 (See handout.)
  • HW for Wednesday, "Gore" Extended Activity #2 (See handout.)
  • HW for Thursday, "Gore" Extended Activity #3 (See handout.)

Feb. 10
  • Approx. 30 minutes doing a section of the Literacy Test practice. Remember to bring your booklet back to school on Thursday.
  • Established seating plan.
  • Spelling Quiz for news article

Feb. 11
  • We reviewed this online journal. Know that if I am away one day and the lessons I've prepared did not reach the on-call teacher, you can advise the on-call teacher to view this journal since I usually post it when I prepare the handouts. If you are away, once you start to feel better, you view the journal to see what got covered during the class. If you were not away due to illness (e.g., you were away for a basketball game), since you are not ill or in pain, you do the work to the best of your ability so you can arrive prepared the next day.
  • The final polished version on the biography of a peer is due one week from today.
  • I collected the homework that was assigned on Feb. 9.
  • Not everyone has covered the writing techniques of simile and metaphor; therefore, I delivered a thorough lesson on those devices. Students copied the notes from the blackboard. I also showed where you can find online resources posted on the home page of this web site under "Information and Resources". Look for the "Handbook of Rhetorical Devices" and "Literary Terms."
  • There were 15 minutes at the end of class when students worked on their homework for tomorrow (Extended activity #3 from the "Gore" handout from Feb. 9.)

Feb. 12
  • Today you signed out your anthology. You will be returning your book to me at the end of the course, but if you lose it, you have to pay $40. That would make both of us sad, so please don't lose your book!
  • Students explored the anthology, doing silent reading. Though we will be doing Unit 1, everyone had the chance to explore and read whatever they wanted from the anthology.
  • While that happened, I reviewed the submissions from the week and touched base with some students.
  • Later, I shared some former Valentine metaphors that previous students had done, and everyone got the chance to practise composing their own. I read some of these aloud at the end, and will continue to read the rest when we return to class.
  • REMINDER: The final version of your Classmate Biography is due on Wednesday along with the process work. Have a safe and happy long weekend with your families!

Feb. 17
  • Notes on blackboard: What to do when you're away; what to remember to bring to class.
  • I reviewed simile at the start of this PPP:
  • We looked at two pieces from your Sightlines 9 anthology and I gave the handout for the upcoming three weeks:
  • Reminder that the peer biographies are due tomorrow. I gave 15 minutes for doing one of the anthology tasks due tomorrow and let students know that I would give time in class to do the other one tomorrow since the biography is already due!

Feb. 18
  • I collected the biographies and the work on "At the Bus Stop" that you did or started at the end of class yesterday.
  • Students worked on their assignments for the whole period.
  • Students were able to hand in the other writing task that was due today and I reminded students that their practice news report for "Lamb to the Slaughter" is due at the start of class tomorrow. Some students handed in already! Great job, guys!
  • I also pointed out the evaluations described on your handout coming up next week.

Feb. 19
  • Defined prose and poetry, and clarified the difference. Defined free verse with example. Also discussed concrete poem with examples.
  • Listed elements and principles of design and pointed out the need for this language for studying media literacy in English class.
  • Explained the concept of texts as cultural indicators.
  • Listed the different types of irony with examples and reference to handout on irony.
  • We discussed "Lamb to the Slaughter" with a fun debate regarding the guilt or innocence of Mary Maloney.

Feb. 20
  • Continue working on your Unit 1 reading and writing tasks listed in your handout from Feb. 17.

Feb. 23

Feb. 24
  • Evaluation Part 1 (See Unit 1 Handout for description)

Feb. 25
  • Evaluation Part 2 (See Unit 1 Handout for description)

Feb. 26
  • Today I let people know that while I try to serve people by giving positive feedback, corrections, and next steps, if you feel I have not written enough on your submission, please feel free to bring your work back to me for more specific feedback. I'm happy to do that for you!
  • I also pointed out that the things you're handing in are not only helping you understand your readings and make you think, but also serve as writing practices. Therefore, while your notes may be in shorthand and I might use shorthand on the blackboard to conserve space, the writing compositions you hand in serve the purpose of practicing composing sentences, structuring paragraphs, using capitalization, learning punctuation, etc.
  • Lesson on some principles based on observations of submissions: Spelling: metaphor, develop, simile, therefore, writer, author, separate, beginning, suspense, neither. (I before e rule and its exceptions) Please use Words: not slashes, arrows, or point form. Errors of Redundancy: "the reason...is because", "so therefore", "and also", and "Finally, in conclusion...". Capitalization and Spelling: Canterbury High School, Wednesday, and February. Errors that drive Ms. Taylor around the bend: The phrase "is based off of" should be "is based on." The expression "is centered around" should be "is centered upon" or "revolves around".
  • We took up "The Conservationist" and "The Open Window". We started to take up The Last Saskatchewan Pirate with a point of suspense: what's the remaining ingredient of satire?

Feb. 27
  • Satire employs irony to mock or ridicule a folly or issue in society. It is often funny and/or does so through parody, but not always.
  • Defined media, explained primary and secondary messages, and gave the six key concepts of media literacy with explanation and examples.
  • We watched the video of "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" and took it up, we took up "The Execution", and we discussed the images on the pages entitled "Messages are Everywhere."

Mar. 2
  • More words to spell! These then words arose from submissions: exaggeration, independent, independence, immature, vicious, gruesome, bizarre, success, definitely, magic. Let's combine these with the material covered on Feb. 26 and have a quiz this Friday.
  • More on using your daily reading responses as writing practice right from punctuating the date properly, to composing a meaningful title and subtitle, to structuring a multi-paragraph text, to using style in your writing. Two student examples of the response regarding satire and "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" were shared with the class.
  • A look at Victorian-style understated viciousness in "Coup de Grace", a "fractured" (or should we say "twisted") fairy tale. More on that tomorrow.

Mar. 3 - 6
  • Narrative point of view: omniscient, limited, and first person (reviewed meaning of the word narrative and related narrative point of view to different texts.
  • More words drawn from submissions to study: until oppression usually resistance apartheid reference personally heroes fairytale prophecy/prophesy. The point of quizzing along the way was to convey the message that you are wise to start studying right away; don't wait until the night before.
  • The evaluation from Feb. 24 was returned.
  • You got a handout with proofreaders codes so you can understand the corrections on your papers. A number of writing tips and corrections that are listed on that handout were explained.
  • Work is coming in regularly; feedback on both superficial errors and content development is being given either on the work or orally, and work is being handed back. I reviewed the punctuation for the date again, and the need to use capital letters for proper nouns such as people's names, names of the week, and names of the month. The conventional use of capital letters for titles, format of titles, and the use of informative subtitles, chunking work into paragraphs, and indicating start of paragraphs with indent have been reinforced in writing feedback this week. Next steps: development of content through self-questioning, addition of details, examples, and explanations.
  • Elements of Fiction (see link under "Information and Resources" on the home page of this web site)
  • Some students are finished all of the readings and writing assignments and have received a copy of Twelfth Night so they can start reading ahead.
  • Reminders of next week's evaluations have been given several times this week.
  • Today (Mar. 6), after returning work and giving feedback, we watched some videos to review irony. The term tone was defined and discussed in terms of irony of tone. We started talking about parody.

April 7
  • At the start of class, I gave a worksheet to accompany your Grammar Review Booklet. This work is not for marks; it's for learning.
  • Students voted to start taking up the last test tomorrow. We'll do a little bit each day.
  • We have read to the end of Act 2, Scene 2.
  • Review: Elizabethan Worldview and relevance of social class
  • New: Nature; Shakespeare's decorum (language)
  • HW: Apostrophe 4.1 and 4.2
  • HW: Review what we read today and then answer the following question: What metaphor appears in Viola's soliloquy at the end of Scene 2 which captures the realm of Chaos in The Great Chain of Being?

April 8
  • At the start of class, I reviewed the instructions for the Grammar Booklet. Your first quiz is April 14. I'm really looking forward to those!!!
  • Students gave me ideas about how they'd like to present their sonnets. We set the presentation dates to April 22.
  • I took up the first two questions of the test. Students wrote down the sample answers. Points of note:
    • Be direct.
    • Edit.
    • Demonstrate your knowledge of what was covered in class in the wording of your answer.
    • Vary your diction by using synonyms if you need to refer to a particular concept a several times.
    • It's a good idea to illustrate your point with quotations from the piece.
  • We reviewed the concept of decorum from yesterday.
  • HW
    • Review your notes from today.
    • Look up the words soliloquy and aside.
    • Apostrophe 4.3 and 4.4.
April 9
  • Took up questions #2 3 and 4 with negative examples for wordy answers and faulty use of quotations. This was followed by example of concise answer and examples of quotations that are integrated into sentences.
  • We read Twelfth Night with discussion and explanation. We looked closely at Viola's 'Apostrophe to Time' speech.
  • Took up meaning and usage of soliloquy and aside.
  • The image that captures the idea of chaos is the knot.
  • Viola's nobility of character in contrast with pranksters in the next scene. The use of chaos to reveal quality of character.

April 10
  • Took up questions #5 and 6 from the test.
    • Demonstrated the need to complete a thought in a sentence to make it valid. Don't end the sentence until you've stated a complete and valid sentence.
    • Definitions: denotation, connotation, juxtaposition
  • Reviewed Shakespeare's decorum, Divine Order (a.k.a. Nature, Natur

April 17
  • Collection of homework (notes from yesterday's confusing conclusion to Act 3).
  • Shakespeare's symmetrical plot structure and review of components of plot with diagram: complication, inciting incident, types of conflict, back story, suspense, rising action, (threads getting knotted up), climax, crisis, falling action.
  • Taking Stock of Characters as we begin Act 4: What have they experienced, what do they know, what don't they know, how do they feel, what are their motivations, what do they want.

April 23
  • We celebrated Shakespeare's birthday!
  • You did your "Afternoon of a Sonnet" presentations
  • As of now, we've finished reading Twelfth Night. A few days ago, we summarized the unit on the blackboard. Here it is...

April 29
  • Work period for your Reflection and Sonnet Explanation due tomorrow at the start of class tomorrow.
  • I reviewed important dates coming up: tomorrow's sentence fragment quiz, Monday's Twelfth Night evaluation, and the Of Mice and Men questions to be completed by May 12.
  • Tomorrow we will take up last week's Twelfth Night questions.

May 13
  • I don't seem to have posted the Of Mice and Men questions. Let me fix that:
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  • Today's readings from Sightlines 9:(1) "Our Appearance" p. 71 -- Do you like the poem? Why or why not? Do you agree with the ideas? Applying what you've learned: How do you know this is a poem and not prose? What elements does it have in common with a prose text? How is the imagery in the second half more concrete and specific than the imagery in the first?(2) "Living Life to the Max" p. 73 -- Activity #1 or #2;(3) Read "I Live in a Language That's Not Mine" p. 76 -- After reading the essay, use thinking skills, not a dictionary or the Internet, to guess the meaning of the termcentredness. Use your understanding of the essay to guess the meaning of the terms dominant culture and marginalization (You will not find these specific terms in the essay; they are concepts that are addressed indirectly.). What political issue is Carmen Rodrigues problematizing in the essay? What is the topic sentence of each paragraph? What function or purpose does each paragraph serve? What specific details about her life does Rodrigues use in her essay? What metaphors does she use? How do they relate to the thesis of the essay?

May 15
Readings and Essay (due May 27) assigned.

May 19 - These issues were addressed. There was time in class for reading and working on establishing a topic for the essay.
  • Concision: What is it? (Common misconceptions)
  • Formal writing style: Why do you need to know how to do it? When would you use it in the world outside of school? What impression does it give your reader? What are some common casual expressions you should avoid in formal essays?

May 20
  • Took up Colon quiz
  • Addressed a problem question on Twelfth Night quiz: chivalry
  • Gave back work on Of Mice and Men and taught a writing lesson.
    • Responses in English class must be in sentences so you can improve your writing skills.
    • If you need more than one sentence, compose a proper paragraph.
    • Answer questions directly. Don't write in storytelling mode with a vague slant towards the issues raised in the question. Respond directly to the question.
    • The answer is a proposition (a statement that is either true or false) and then the sentences that follow it defend its truth.
    • Now that you know how to avoid run-on sentences and how to use semicolons and colons, you can compose sentences that capture a whole thought, not just part of the idea. Now you can reserve short simple sentences for points of emphasis.
    • Blend quotations into your sentences and insert parenthetical references properly.
    • Put the point you're making about a quotation before the quotation so your reader knows what he/she is looking for.
    • Put one sentence right after the other, not on top of one another.
    • Tab the first sentence of a paragraph.
May 26
  • Review of writing principles:
    • For formal writing, expressions should not be casual (e.g., a lot, or really) but formal (many, often, extremely, thoroughly).
    • Remember to format titles correctly, put a title for the piece, date your work properly, put your last name on your work, double-space, write in pen, indent the first sentence of each new paragraph.
    • proposition (can be argued for or against), quotation, explanation (defense of the truth of the proposition).
    • no birch syrup (b.s.): e.g., In the novel, imagery is used to convey the theme and delight the reader. The excellent use of metaphors by the author truly describes the setting beautifully....
    • What you want, instead, are sentences that are thoughtfully considered and specific to the particular novel, the particular passage, the particular sentence, and the particular words in context.

May 29
Here is the sample editorial we looked at today:

June 1
Today was the first day of production for your Summative Task: Drafting your editorial. I was happy to help people establish a solid angle for their editorials; it was fun to hear each person's individual take on their chosen subject. The sample editorial was up on the in-focus machine so everyone could use it as a model. People left their drafts and research in their writing folders in the classroom. Good work, everyone! Tomorrow you finish your draft and begin the process of rewriting it.

Grade 10 Sept 2015

Sept. 8 The first day of school!

  • Seating Plan
  • "Best Book" survey: Everyone contributed a title to put on the bulletin board.
  • Information about the course.
  • Question Period: Everyone put a question about ANYTHING into the bin and I answered them to the class. Books, essays, teaching English, summatives, exams, classroom policies, etc. were addressed.
  • Heads up for writing sample on Friday--a news report. As a class, we reviewed some of the characteristics of a news report.

Sept. 9 - 10

  • Global Citizenship workshop in Library.

Sept. 11

  • Writing Sample: News Report

Sept. 14

  • Global Citizenship workshop (last day) in Library

Sept 15 - 16

  • Romeo and Juliet: The Movie

Sept. 17

Sept. 18

  • Toadie: What school do you attend? Check the spelling and capitalization because you may have to write this on a resume some day. Note proofreading codes used today.
  • Returned your first draft of your opinion piece. Remember to keep this in your binder so you can submit it with your process work when you hand in your completed opinion piece.
  • Reviewed "The Writing Process" with notes on research, layout decisions, purpose of white space, difference between editing and proofreading [notwithstanding the term "copy-editing"], need to self-edit before handing the piece off to someone else so they (1) are not distracted by the visual noise of superficial errors AND (2) can tell you something you don't already know.
  • Things to look for in your piece: Is it dull? Is the voice (personality) appropriate? Are the ideas supported? Are there interesting details or anecdotes? Are the topics (paragraphs) balanced? Does it build? Is the and introduction, body, and conclusion? [Tip: Close-by-return]
  • Second Draft due Tuesday.
  • Study Buddies established.

Sept. 21

  • Toadie: spelling of metaphor (no e on the end)
  • A booklet of handouts was given. Please read, take notes, and do the exercises.

Sept. 22

  • Toadie: Commas save lives!
  • Peer-editing session of Draft #2. Draft #3 is due on Friday.
  • Comprehension questions to review the handout on Shakespeare's life. How does this information inform our understanding of his plays?

Sept. 23

Sept. 24

  • Toadie: Languages, nationalities, and Countries all need capital letters. Note the spelling and capitalization of your own nationality, whatever it may be!
  • Review quiz on Shakespeare and the history of the English language.
  • Reading of Act 1, Scene 1.

Sept. 25

  • Toadie: Spell rhythm and rhyme.
  • Peer-proofreading session of Draft 3#. Check proper capitalization and formatting of references to a title of a play, movie or novel; either commercial or MLA manuscript layout of paragraphs; and correct usage and spelling of homophones.
  • Give your writing compositions an interesting title and a functional subtitle.
  • Please read web site posted on the home page of this web site under Information and Resources: The Elizabethan Worldview--Tillyard in a Nutshell.

Coming up: Final version of opinion piece due Tuesday Wednesday; fact test on Thursday.

Sept. 28

  • oxymoron, oxymora (cold fire, sick health, bright smoke, etc.) Why is this device useful in Romeo's dialogue? (Act 1, Scene 1)
  • Student Read-Aloud: Act 1, Scene 2
  • Shakespeare's decorum, prose, poetry
  • Reminder of multiple simultaneous meanings of certain words
  • connotation and loaded words

Sept. 29

  • Toadie: Formal date format and punctuation was covered. What about the "th" in the date? A well-dressed formal date should not stick out its tongue. That lacks decorum!
  • Act 1, Scene 3 Why are Old English words (quoth, sooth, rood, trow, troth) useful in the Nurse's speech? What was she saying? Why are her vulgarities useful, dramatically-speaking? What other insights are offered in her speech and in Juliet's response to the question of marriage?
  • Writing sample made available and feedback provided.

Sept. 30

  • Toadie:
  • In groups, students read their opinion pieces to one another and then one student from each group read his/her piece aloud to the class.
  • Reminder of test tomorrow.

Oct. 1

  • (Toadie: Between you and I or me? Choosing your audience.)
  • In-class Evaluation

Oct. 2

  • Toadie: a lot (two words; too casual, too colloquial for a formal piece of writing)
  • Handout: Values and Texts: A translation of "The Parson's Tale" from The Canterbury Tales (The Vices and the Virtues). Which vices and virtues appear in Romeo and Juliet?

Oct. 5

  • Toadie: The i before e rule. (Note that we italicise letters and words when we refer to them as letters and as words.)
  • Rhythm of the week: the dactyl
  • Meter of the day: dactylic monometer
  • Review of "facts" that we've covered so far
    • Biographical information
    • Historical context
    • Literary context
    • Elizabethan worldview (a.k.a. divine order or the Great Chain of Being), the humours (sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholy) and the Vices and Virtues.
  • Read 1.4
    • terms: protagonist, dynamic character (as opposed to a static character), character development, round or three-dimensional character, flat character or two-dimensional character.
    • Note subtle recurring words and images (e.g., "vanity," "airy" words, "forfeit") as well as obvious motives (motifs) like violence, sexual innuendo, Cupid, love, death.
  • HW: Remember that you must reread what we read during class for homework. You may use a parallel text, but you must read Shakespeare's words if you have any hope of recognizing patterns of language.

Oct. 6
  • Toadie: Please do not misuse the word I; e.g., Please return the keys to Mr. Smith or I me.
  • Review of the i before e rule with spelling practice.
  • New words regarding rhythm: foot or feet, scansion, and dimeter.
  • A philosophical question: Who is responsible for our destiny?
  • Breaking the fourth wall.
  • Reading of Act 1, Scene 5. Note juxtapositions (plot structure). Applying knowledge (the Great Chain of Being, the Vices and the Virtues, and the four humours), poetic love.

Oct. 15
  • Toadie's Update!
    • Tricky one! Avoiding absolutes when more careful wording is needed to discuss theories and ideas that are relevant, interesting, and allow us to explore a new angle on a piece of literature, are not set in stone by solid historical data.
    • Hither, thither, and yonder
    • Thou, thee, thy, and thine
  • Meter of the day: anapestic tetrameter with a reading of an anapestic poem on in-focus machine.
  • Romeo and Juliet update: We're done, or nearly done Act 2.
  • Language Exploration, Act 1, "Word Order" -- syntax. Instruction and first three questions done on blackboard.
  • Language exploration, Act 2, "Simile" -- abstract vs. concrete, symbolism, identifying tenor and vehicle (concrete image), exploring layers of meaning in Shakespeare's choice of image. For the exercise, you identify (1) the tenor; (2) the vehicle, i.e., concrete image, and (3) list all the relevant and valid ideas that come along with that image.

  • Today's Toadie: really (casual and colloquial); alternatives that one can use when writing a formal academic piece.
  • Meter of the day: anapestic pentameter. Noted the numerical meaning of the prefixes we've seen as we've looked at meter and related those prefixes to two literary terms: monologue and dialogue.
  • Continued to work on THINKING: in our examination of the associations that come along with images in similes.

Oct. 22

  • Toadie Update:
    • Never start a sentence with a digit, and spell out most numbers unless they're an exception (e.g. year) or the spelled-out number dominates your sentence.
    • Based on: The movie is based on (not off of) the movie.
  • Rhythm of the week: the iamb
  • Today's rhythm? See "The Drum" by John Scott. The effects of alliteration, the effect of quality of sounds of letters, parallel structure, and
  • Romeo and Juliet, Act 3 and Romeo's fall from grace.

Oct. 26
  • Toadie! How to compose a definition of a noun. Note awareness of different classes of things, and different levels of specificity of classes of things.
  • Definition of irony was given (from Holman's A Handbook to Literature)
  • Rhythm of the week: the trochee, e.g., "Double, double, toil and trouble..."
  • Including the sound of certain letters into the imagery of words to write a rhyming couplet in trochaic tetrameter (group activity).
  • Read Act 3, Scene 3
  • HW: look up the words incongruity and sophistication, think about your rhyming couplet, and, as always, reread the reading of today.

Oct. 27
  • Toadie! the is when error (see link on home page called "When is when is wrong") as this grammatical error relates to the wording of definitions and the delivery of references to the texts as examples.
  • You spent some time working on your spell (rhyming couplet in trochaic tetrameter with alliteration, consonance, and/or assonance)
  • Review moral implications of the Great Chain of Being (i.e. Nature): order vs. disorder, obedience vs. disobedience, intelligence vs. materiality (corporeality), the expectations of authority--the father or mother, the king or queen--benevolence, patience, wisdom, good judgement, reason over passion (self-control); the moral dilemma of subjects when earthly authority is corrupted--to serve evil or overthrow (i.e., leap over a layer of authority). Harmony? If corruption creates disorder, overthrowing it restores order.
  • The central motif of the play: love and hatred. Juliet's choice? Note on the role of fortune.

Toadie to do today: the slaaassshhh!
NOTE: high school (noun and proper noun)

December 1

I assigned a take-home essay today. It's due in two weeks--December 14.

Topic #1: Here are the Scenes you need!
MacMillan's Balcony Scene
Bedroom scene
MacMillan's Death Scene

Topic # 2 and #3: Here is the lecture for you!
Witch Hunt Lecture

Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady Here are some questions that will, I hope, help you get started in writing your essay. You need not answer all of them! Each question represents one paragraph, so you can pick three that you like, and then those three paragraphs can form the body of your essay.

I've underlined the argument Dr. Ruiz makes in his lecture to help you out.
  • How does the story demonstrate that ideology can be "crafted"? What ideologies (beliefs and values that carve out a culture's worldview) does this story help to craft?
  • How does it help to create the myth that the culture was rational, i.e., guided by reason instead of "anxiety" and "fear"?
  • How does it display the false notion that the rich and powerful were morally superior and rational people?
  • How does the story, in its original context of medieval England, encourage trust in the government while it...
    • contributes to, confirms, and demonstrates fear and distrust of people in outlying areas? In the lecture, this type of fear is attributed to socio-economic changes. It also supports the implied argument that society was not as rational as it perceived itself to be.
    • encourages, validates, and shows evidence of hatred and fear of the elderly? In the lecture, this social phenomenon supports the argument that society was not rational, but dangerously irrational.
    • justifies a fear of women? As above.
    • contributes to a belief in mischief-making and black magic? The lecture mocks this belief; Dr. Ruiz presents it as ridiculous, foolish, and ignorant.
  • What does the story offer to a discourse that already demonizes people who live in outlying areas, the elderly, women, and people who practise customs that are different from those in power?

December 2

December 3
Time to draft your essay.

December 4
Time to draft your essay

December 7
Recap of some "new" terms and concepts regarding how prose employs rhetorical devices.
Guidance on editing--
  • Do not refer to yourself, your beliefs, or your feelings.
  • Tell your essay to stop talking about itself in the third person.
  • The word prove is off-limits. Try "This suggests, indicates, demonstrates, illustrates, exemplifies, portrays, represents, contributes to a pattern of..."; "If this is true, it stands to reason that.."; "From this we can infer that"...

Your typed improvements are due Wednesday.

I have a web site with definitions of rhetorical devices to tell you about! See Handbook of Rhetorical Devices on the home page of this web site.

Wednesday, December 9

Language, Rhetoric, and Politics


Make sure the essay applies the instructions for the assignment. In class, you checked it against the instruction sheet.

Make sure the essay applies the lesson on close-reading from one week ago: evidence that the student returned to the source material and performed an analysis (locating words and phrases that support the arguments). This is evidenced in the essay by numerous quotations in body paragraphs.

Make sure the support and the language of the essay is sufficient, accurate, logical, and ethical.
  • Check that the quoted material is accurate (i.e., exact wording, capitalization, punctuation, etc.)
  • Check for "apt phrases" (See MLA Handout), new vocabulary words, and words that echo the lecture in quotation marks and make the source clear. Ideas that are in your own words but are present in the lecture are not put into quotation marks, but are attributed to Dr. Ruiz. NOTE: This will have to be done quite a bit since your task is to support his arguments. There is no "but I already knew that" because the purpose of the essay, as assigned, is to provide illustration from the story to support his arguments. (Sorry.) You get to show your genius in your analysis of the story and your eloquent explanation of how the story demonstrates his arguments (i.e., your Language Arts skills). You can show that you're already an authority on Europe's Witch Hunts during the Early Modern Period in your History class. And you can show that you're already an expert on Witches and Witchcraft in your Witches and Witchcraft class.
  • Use coined phrases from the lecture, but reveal that you've drawn them from Dr. Ruiz

Checking the logic (think validity and relevance) and accuracy of support; sample comments--
  • leap (leap in logic; false conclusion)
  • non sequitur (Illogical sentence; your "therefore", "as a result", or "because" statement does not follow logically from what you just said.)
  • inaccurate reference (oversimplified, expressed with faulty diction, interpreted out of context, a figurative expression interpreted literally, or otherwise inaccurate paraphrase).
  • That was never said. Invention. Check source.
  • Misrepresenting or distorting statements so they'll support or intensify your point.
  • You need more support or illustration to make this convincing.
  • Clarify; this can be taken a couple of ways--what, exactly, do you mean?

At the end of class you were given this handout: Handout from Dec. 9 Click this link to check your understanding.

Thursday, December 10
(1) Read the handout from yesterday on how to incorporate quotations into your essay. Read it thoroughly (You can even click this link to check your understanding) so you can apply these principles in your essay. Draft essay due tomorrow for peer copy-editing. (2) Students are to continue reading Animal Farm on their own. Read at least 15 pages beyond where we left off in our class reading on Tuesday. (3) Students who have already finished the novel should either work on their essay if they have their essay with them or work in their Grammar Booklet, writing their answers in their notebook and checking their answers against the booklet's answer key.

Monday, December 14

I received the essay projects that were due today. Thank you!

I took up the test that was returned on Friday. A student exemplar was read to the class. A make-up test will be done on Wednesday by those who would like to raise their mark.

We continued reading Animal Farm.

Reminder: We will take up the MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech tomorrow!

Friday, January 15
If you would like guidance on how to answer the questions on the exam, go to ENG2D Exam Tutorials in the sidebar of this web site.

Gr. 10 Sem 2 2014

Feb. 3
ENG2D Course Information Sheet Feb 2014.docx
ENG2D Course Information Sheet Feb 2014.docx

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Today I answered questions about the course and we voted on the novel study. Period 3 voted for Animal Farm. Period 4 voted for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. BTW Here's the scoop on "Ms."--> What's the difference between Mrs., Miss, and Ms.? FYI. Now that all of that is settled, we will be turning our attentions towards Romeo and Juliet.
Feb. 4 Short Film "Identity" -- Writing Sample: Interpretation of the Film Copies of Romeo and Juliet were distributed. Whole-class discussion: What you already know about Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet.
Feb. 5 I was away. This is the work students did in my absence.
ENG2D Introductory Exercises R&J.doc
ENG2D Introductory Exercises R&J.doc
ENG2D Introductory Exercises R&J.doc

Feb. 6 Today, I explained the process of preparing for the literacy test in March.
Then we had a whole-class discussion about the film Identity that we watched on Tuesday. We discussed the symbolism of the mask, the cave, and the pawn.
Next, we watched Opening Scene West Side Story as an introduction to Romeo and Juliet. Students shared their interpretations and observations, and the elements of the scene that are relevant to Romeo and Juliet were pointed out.
Feb. 7 Today you volunteered for reading roles and we started reading Romeo and Juliet. Some concepts discussed were - the purpose for the opening brawl scene, - the purpose and effect of some of the innuendo in this scene, - a technique in the plot structure (Benvolio introduced with Tybalt), - the effect of Shakespeare's use of biblical allusion in Benvolio's introductory lines (Luke 23:34), - recurring motifs: fire and water. Remember to record relevant quotations that I point out to you along the way; this will make your life a lot easier down the road.
Feb. 10 Review sheet handed out. People worked in partners and then we took it up. Homework: Comprehending the rap song lyrics of Gang Warfare to find some text-to-text connections with our play. GW Song Feb. 11 Literacy Test practice Collected homework Did some reading in Romeo and Juliet with one eye on the lookout for Cupid! (Further to our discussions of allusions, I explained what classical allusions are and gave a brief lesson about some of the symbolic implications of Cupid, a.k.a. Eros. The goddess Diana was also briefly discussed.) I suggested you keep your eyes on the references to eyes and their relevance to the image of an arrow. The topic of Shakespeare's decorum came up at the point when Capulet hands his invitation list to an illiterate servant.
Feb. 12 We discussed the term metaphor, and we examined some examples. You composed two and posted them up for display in the classroom. In Period 3 we continued reading Act 1.
Feb. 13 I was away. You examined the images in... Song Lyrics "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack Here's what the song sounds like by the original singer-- 1969 Recording Here is an updated version by Leona Lewis You also had some exercises regarding Shakespeare's language tricks.
Feb. 14 Valentine's Day! We read the play.
Feb. 18 Per. 4 Finished reading Act 1; Per. 3 Read Act 2, Scene 1 and watched video of balcony scene. Prokofiev/Macmillan balcony scene (narrative and lyrical expression, symbolism) Topics: Shakespeare's use of contrast; archaic language (hither, thither, thee, thou, thy, thine). Bring your craft materials to make masks on Thursday! The focus will be on symbolism.
Feb. 19 We read Romeo and Juliet and Period 4 watched the balletic version of the balcony scene. Terms defined: denotation, connotation, paraphrase. Handout: Mask-making activity for tomorrow.
Feb. 20 Period 4 started making masks, but we were interrupted by the Lockdown. Period 3 had the full 45 minutes to make their masks Homework: Handout on Language Exploration--Changed Word Order--Act 1.
Feb. 21 Snow day!!!
Feb. 24 POP! Quiz -- Formative Assessment (means it doesn't count for marks on your report card, but it tells me who's keeping up and who's falling behind.) Since Period 4's Mask-making session got interrupted by the Lockdown last Thursday, they got time today to finish their masks. Homework: Handout on Language Exploration--Simile--Act 2. Announcement: Test next Wednesday.
Feb. 25 Reflection on mask handed in.
Feb. 26 Scene selection for performances. Criteria for evaluation described. Period 3 - Test moved to Tuesday to accommodate performances Wednesday and Thursday. Period 4 - Two groups volunteered to present on Tuesday; test is still on Wednesday; and remaining groups present on Thursday. (No school for you next Friday.)
Feb. 27 Study Buddies established (Per. 4); you need to borrow a buddy's notes when you miss class. You are responsible for the material covered in class during your absence. You need to take action; it's your responsibility. Read from Romeo and Juliet. At this point, both classes have been shown--through demonstration--some note-taking strategies; i.e., use of parenthetical references, abbreviations, and codes. Practised performance pieces. Reminder of test next Tuesday (Period 3) or Wednesday (Period 4). Reminder to make an appointment with me if you need extra help. Homework: Study for your test, read over your lines, and gather your materials for your performance next week. (Don't wait until the day before.)
Feb. 28 Today we continued reading in Romeo and Juliet. In Per. 3, we noted the dark side of Shakespeare's Romeo and the quality of mercy. In Per. 4, we reached the end of Act 2. Thus far, both classes have had instruction on note-taking and shorthand using parenthetical refs., quotations, refs. to speakers and characters to whom their speeches are directed, and the significance of the quotation. We've looked at the definitions of dramatic irony and tragic irony with specific examples, and the problem with the use of the term foreshadowing when it comes to this play. The term effective diction was defined and example given. I have also pointed out themes (messages) conveyed through two of the Friar's speeches.
Mar. 3 We took up the Pop Quiz and I gave specific instruction on how to answer specific types of questions; i.e., explaining the symbolism and using clear references to the play to support your ideas. You can use the references I provided in class or you can think of your own as long as their valid, relevant, and useful. If you want a high mark, it's important to pay attention in class and take notes. Then you know what was covered, you know what to study, and you have examples of the writer's techniques already. That way, you don't have to work so hard to reread the play before your test, and you don't have to struggle to remember or figure things out from scratch on the spot during the test.
Period 3 had ten minutes to spare to get together into their performance groups.
Mar. 4 Period 3 did their Romeo and Juliet test. Those who were absent will write their test when they return. You need to bring your costumes, props, and sets for presentations tomorrow. Period 4 started their performance pieces. Those who presented handed in a reflection paper--each person assessing his/her own contribution and identifying ways to improve the next time. This class writes their test tomorrow.
Mar. 5 Period 4 did their test today. Period 3 did performances.
Mar. 6 Last day before March Break! Everyone finished up their performance pieces today and wrote a reflection paper. I gave back a number of homework and in-class exercises, and those students who had not handed in their work on the day it was requested (for whatever reason) were able to submit their work to show that they had done it.
As you get exercises back, please insert them into your binder in an organized way so you can access them quickly when we take them up in class. If you forgot to date your work, then use this web site to put your work in sequence, and try to get into the habit of dating your handouts and notes so you can remove them from your binder and then replace them with some semblance of order.
See you on St. Patrick's day!
Mar. 17 Period 3 - We read in Act III. I taught a brief lesson on the Vices and Virtues according to Geoffrey Chaucer's "Parson's Tale" in The Canterbury Tales, and pointed out their relevance to Shakespeare's plays including Romeo and Juliet. Connected to this was the Elizabethan worldview, the so called Great Chain of Being. This, along with my brief account of the fall of Lucifer as depicted in John Milton's Paradise Lost gave, I hope, members of the class an understanding of the negative connotations of "Pride" in Early Modern English Period and its branches--vices--demonstrated by various characters in Shakespeare's plays. I hope this will carve out a path towards understanding the themes of his plays from a historical perspective that we can compare to modern-day versions. Period 4 - We started Act III and explained the significance of events along the way; e.g., Romeo's reference to masculinity (or his "softened" valor) as a result of his love of Juliet which will give way to Romeo's unattractive side in the second half of the play. I pointed out our ability to predict events based on the structure of the play, past events, and certain key words. Certain key words or motifs reveal meanings such as Mercutio's unsubstantial banter connected to the Prince's complaint about the dangers of "airy" words in Act 1, Scene 1, and Mercutio's dreams that "blow us from ourselves". The motif of mercy reveals messages because we can contrast Romeo's abandonment of "lenity" in contrast with the Prince's show of mercy, Romeo's fury and fiery eyes as he seeks revenge for Mercutio's murder associated with "fiery Tybalt' from Act 1, Scene 1. I also reviewed dramatic irony and verbal irony (created through understatement and puns) and their relevance to the scene.
Mar. 18 Period 4 - Literacy test assembly; then I began to explain the technique of decorum. This class would like some review of spelling, sentence structure, news reports, and opinion pieces as a last-minute review before the literacy test next week. Period 3 - Completed explanation of decorum and we continued reading Act III noticing tragic irony, application of the Great Chain of Being, and some virtuosity on Shakespeare's part in portraying Juliet cloaking her love for Romeo in expressions of contempt during her conversation with her mother.
Some terminology of note: prose and verse decorum lineation blank verse
Mar. 19 Period 3 - Signed out Grammar booklets with explanation of procedures, everyone filled out Study Buddy forms, did spelling dictation, peer-assessment of spelling dictation, handed back tests, 10 minutes to do grammar or examine corrections while I answered individual questions. Period 4 - Completed lesson on decorum, signed out grammar booklets with explanation of procedures, returned tests.
Mar. 20 Handouts for both classes: Purple (Period 4) or green (Period 3) Grammar Review Checklist was handed out. Please place it in the Writing section of your binder.
Marks recording sheet for Learning Journal section of your binder.
"Listening to Learn" Listening Skills reflection sheet which also goes into the Learning Journal section of your binder.
New words for both classes:
soliloquy oxymoron
Period 4 - Spelling dictation for words misspelled on the last test; upcoming quizzes at the start of next week to brush up before the Literacy test. We read part of Act 3 in Romeo and Juliet and I impressed upon the class the need that you must review your notes and bring that knowledge to your reading of subsequent scenes in order to make connections and perceive the patterns of imagery and appreciate the patterns of composition. Today, we were able to witness how Shakespeare uses the imagery in Juliet's soliloquy in Act 3, Scene 2. Dramatic irony of Juliet misunderstanding the Nurse.
Period 3 -
Mar. 21 Period 3 - Handout for recording evaluations in Learning Journal section of your binder; I explained how to record your test. Then we went on to read the play. Handout on Metaphors--homework for Tuesday--Paraphrase each quotation and then generate relevant connotations for the image. Period 4 - Sightlines and Writing textbooks were distributed. I assigned the relevant chapters in Resourcelines to write a newspaper article (due Tuesday) and opinion piece (due Wednesday) in preparation for the Literacy Test (Thursday). I listed the things you want to demonstrate for each type of writing. If you're confident about your Literacy Test, the homework for Tuesday is the handout on Metaphors--Paraphrase each quotation and then generate relevant connotations for the image.
Mar. 24 I gave a PPP on
Paragraph Structure.pptx
Paragraph Structure.pptx
Paragraph Structure.pptx

Period 3 - Finished Act IV so I gave the figurative language handout on Personification. This will be due on Friday. Period 4 - Term narration, Friar's "sweet milk, philosophy" quotation; the motif of masculinity and Nurse's chiding of Romeo: "Stand up, stand up, and be a man...". Recurring motif of the mansion. Symbolism of the dagger.
Mar. 25 Period 3 - We did dictation of the words 16-30 to prep for the Literacy Test. I collected the homework which was the exercise for Metaphors.
Set a new prompt for a practice paragraph following yesterday's lesson. This will be due on Tuesday.
Period 4 - We did dictation of words 16-30 to prep for the Literacy Test. I reviewed the "Look-For" qualities of a newspaper report. A student read his report to provide an exemplar. I read a Globe & Mail news report projected on the screen at the front of the class for auditory and visual example. We examined the W5H, use of quotation and structure of a news report, and students edited each others' reports. The next goal was to explain the Vices and Virtues and the Great Chain of Being; however, I only got as far as the Vices and Virtues today. Recall that the opinion piece assigned last Friday is due tomorrow. If you were absent for my lesson on the Vices and Virtues as described by Geoffrey Chaucer in "The Parson's Tale" in The Canterbury Tales this may help you: Vices and Virtues
Mar. 26 -- I rescheduled the date of your final evaluation for Romeo and Juliet for April 3. Please see list of Assessments and Evaluations below (scroll down).
Both classes had their spelling quizzes to practise the words that were misspelled on the last test. Note the new word: dichotomy.
New vocabulary: Please review and learn the meaning and spellings of the vices and virtues including the archaic forms (so you can recognize them in Shakespeare's works).
Period 4 - I completed my explanation of the vices and virtues, giving a characterization and set of behaviours to make the negative connotations of pride make sense from a historical perspective. Ideally, you will recognize the sets of behaviours and recognize the archaic terms in Shakespeare's dialogue which will help you assess the behaviours of characters from an Elizabethan's point of view as well as your own. Some historical differences of note are the observation of the fact that certain words fall out of common usage (archaic), the meanings of words evolve over time (such as "pride"), and worldviews influence the way audiences perceive and interpret human behavior represented in plays.
Period 3 - We finished reading the play today! YAY! I was absolutely thrilled to hear your comments of appreciation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. I was so happy to hear you express your appreciation for the depth and purpose in Shakespeare's language. I sensed your recognition of the profundity of the characters' actions. Thank you--so very much--for your sharing your thoughts and reactions. Evaluation next Thursday was announced in class.
Good luck on your literacy test. Get a good night's sleep and have a good breakfast--with protein--in the morning! You're going to do fine!
Mar. 27 Period 3 - Assembly Period 4 - Lesson on the Great Chain of Being and read further in Act 3. Homework was to review the Elizabethan Worldview. Evaluation next Thursday was announced and Assessment/Evaluation schedule below was pointed out.
Mar. 28 Period 4 - Reviewed Vices and Virtues and applied the lessons over the last couple of days to the Friar's speech to Romeo. As we continued reading, you were able to interpret events through the historical lens. The topic of the four humours or temperaments came up. Here's a web site that can help you if you were absent for this class: the four humours Period 3 - We watched two scenes from the ballet: The morning after the wedding (Act 3) and the death scene (Act 5). I reviewed the meaning of the words narrative and lyrical, and we observed both the narrative and lyrical qualities of the ballet performances, comparing the two scenes, and noting how emotions and ideas were symbolized through the set and movements.
Mar. 31 Reminder of evaluation on Thursday. Period 3 - We took up the handout on "Similes" from Act 2. In order to do that, we thoroughly covered the meaning of words in the description at the top of the handout. As we took up the exercises, we unpacked each image for the ideas and emotions that would be evoked by that particular image in light of the context of the speaker, the author, and the historical and cultural context of the play. It was concluded that by generating numerous words--ideas and emotions--evoked by the central image, we can gain insights into the patterns of imagery that Shakespeare weaves into his work and enrich our commentary on the way the figure of speech contributes to the meaning and effectiveness of the statement. For similes, look to the image. Period 4 - We got as far as Act 5, Scene 1. Highly dramatic scenes were observed: Capulet's tirade, the problem with the Nurse's practical solution, changes in personalities (Capulet, Nurse, and Juliet), Juliet's isolation and threat of self-harm, the Friar's plan, symbolic props (dagger and vial), Juliet's suppression of "womanly fears" as counterpoint to gender issues raised in first half of the play, Juliet's little speech of horrors.
Words we examined today:
  • abstract (intangible) vs. concrete (tangible)
  • figurative, nonliteral, literal
  • figure, figurative language, figure of speech
  • imagery
  • simile (full definition)
Apr. 1 Period 3 - We looked at what a metaphor is and I taught some strategies for understanding metaphors on your own so you will not be dependent upon the Internet for understanding material that contains a lot of metaphors. Things to look for are the tenor and vehicle to keep track of (a) what the speaker is actually talking about and (b) the concrete image the speaker or author has selected as a means (vehicle) for communicated a whole whack of ideas, associations, and emotions that are attached to the image (i.e., connotations). I called these connotations the passengers in the vehicle. Through our discussions of Shakespeare's choices of images for his metaphors and similes, we could see that once we zero in on all the connotations that come along with that image, we gain some deeper insights into how the metaphor, or image, fits into the larger picture of the play in a useful, logical way. We can then offer more insightful commentary on the effectiveness of a metaphor (e.g., Juliet's reference to night as a "sober-suited matron") , its contribution to characterization (the type of person Juliet is), dramatic effect (elevates Juliet to make the ending of the play more tragic), and overall themes (the problem of perpetual violence and hatred in society). Period 4 - Read the play aloud.
Apr. 2 Period 4 - I explained some key concepts regarding the final scenes of the play, outlining some details that are generally left out of modern adaptations. Tomorrow, you'll get the first half of the sight passage evaluation, and then the second half next week after we take up the handouts on the figurative language. Period 3 - We took up personification and gave a presentation pointing out resources, examples, explanations, and common mistakes.
Identifying Stylistic Devices PPP.pptm
Identifying Stylistic Devices PPP.pptm
Identifying Stylistic Devices PPP.pptm

Apr. 3 Evaluation for reading and writing with Romeo and Juliet Sight Passage. Period 3 - You may hold off on the figure of speech question until next week to be in aligned with period 4.
Apr. 4 Period 4 - I reminded students to arrive prepared for class when they are coming from lunch hour. Afterward was a thorough lesson based on your handout for Act 2 regarding Similes. I defined and explained the words abstract, concrete, imagery, and gave a more developed definition of a simile. As a class, we worked on the skill of generating connotations of an image as a means for developing insight into Shakespeare's artistic choices. I gave some coaching on how to answer questions that require you to comment on the contribution of this type of figure of speech, and avoid simplistic or illogical answers. Monday, we'll take up metaphor. Tuesday, personification. Wednesday, apostrophe. Thursday, part 2 of yesterday's evaluation. Period 3 - We watched the first part of the movie. We discussed the influence of the directing, casting, and costuming on audience interpretation of certain scenes.
Apr. 7 Period 3 - Handout--Exercise for identification; movie continued; homework is to spend 30 minutes or so identifying figures of speech in the handout you got today AND study for your evaluation on Thursday. Period 4 - Review of meaning of abstract and concrete, imagery, and simile. Defined figure, figure of speech, and figurative language. Explained metaphor (tenor and vehicle) with analysis of two examples from the Metaphor handout. Defined personification with examples on blackboard. Homework: Identify figures of speech in the sight passage handout I gave out today.
April 11
April 15
ENG2D Period 3 Classwork for April 15.docx
ENG2D Period 3 Classwork for April 15.docx

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ENG2D Period 4 Classwork for April 15.docx
ENG2D Period 4 Classwork for April 15.docx

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April 16
ENG2D Period 3 Classwork for April 16.docx
ENG2D Period 3 Classwork for April 16.docx

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ENG2D Period 4 Classwork for April 16.docx
ENG2D Period 4 Classwork for April 16.docx

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April 17 Period 3: For those who don't have a copy of our novel, here's an online version for you! Animal Farm
April 22 Both classes: Please read the handout on writing paragraphs by Friday. On Friday, you will show me that you've read it by handing in your handout with five areas highlighted. Also read Chapter 4 in your purple Resourcelines textbook by next Tuesday (one week from today). Period 3: By Friday, you will have read to the end of Chapter 5. We will be in the Library doing a Media Literacy workshop for the next two days.
April 23 (Shakespeare's Birthday!) Both classes: We started the media literacy workshop in the library today. We're back in the library again tomorrow.
April 24 Both classes: This is the second media literacy workshop. The third one will be May 9.
April 25 Period 3: We read some of Animal Farm. We discussed power and how power corrupts. We also touched on power of language--those who control information have power to control the society. Period 4: We read some of TATDOAPI and discussed.
April 28 Both Classes: Lesson on irony. Today we reviewed and built upon your understanding of this device. What is irony? What is incongruity? List five different types of irony. Recall examples from R&J. What differentiates verbal irony from a lie or simply being disingenuous? Besides sarcasm, what other types of verbal irony are there? What's the difference between a surprise ending and situational irony? Reminder: Resourcelines Chapter 4 by tomorrow. Period 4: Read TATDOAPI and did "Penny for your Thoughts". Period 3: Read up to page 47 in Animal Farm and then we went to the computer lab to do a Ministry survey.
April 29 Both classes: Returned R&J test regarding values, Elizabethan worldview, and paraphrase of lines. Took it up and read exemplars. Did someone say irony? Advanced Cat Yodeling Isn't it Ironic Ironic (video) Period 3: Read and discussed some of Animal Farm. Period 4: Read and discussed some of TATDOAPI.
April 30 Both classes: Returned R&J test regarding stylistic devices in the language, took it up, and read exemplars. It's Finally Ironic Both classes: Defined and discussed parody and satire. Period 4: Read and discussed some of TATDOAPI. Period 3: Defined allegory. Read in Animal Farm with discussion.
May 1 Period 3: You handed in the worksheet for Chapter 7, we read Chapter 8, and you handed in the worksheet for Chapter 8. Chapter 8 has a reflection on your Oral Communication skills and a text-to-self/text/world connection. An odd debate Period 4: We read and discussed TATDOAPI, examining the author's representation of racism and sexism in the protagonist, and the trivialization of bulimia in the characterization of Penelope and Arnold. The idea of the "pedestal" as the feminine ideal came up. The following terms were defined: bildungsroman, individuation, and antihero. Issues of stereotypes and reader-response were raised. Students handed in their text-to-text/self/world homework. Homework tonight is to finish reading to page 160 and complete a summary of the homework reading.
May 2 Period 4: On the topic of parody and satire, After Ever After We read and discussed up to 173 and the homework was to complete the reading to page 196. Period 3: Handout on techniques of propaganda, language of types of government ("You Have Two Cows"). We watched BBC Orwell and Mind Control and discussed the relevance to the novel and to our present-day society.
May 5 Homework for both classes: Media Worksheet 1 on "Viewing". Period 3: Students worked on completing their Chapter 6 reading worksheet and started on their homework while I returned some assignments. We saw a student presentation. We started reading Chapter 9 but we didn't get very far because I asked a predicting question (What's going to happen next?) and a connection question (Does this relate to today's perception of our present economy and standard of living? Are we being brainwashed into believing we have it better than people did 50 years ago?). Period 4: Students worked on writing a summary of their independent reading up to page 196. We discussed what happened between p. 173 and 196, and then continued to read up to page 213. Notable topics were Alexie's skill in composing a plot and characterizations that lead naturally to a lose-lose situation for Arnold. It was also noted that while the protagonist is fallible (antihero) and culpable (bildungsroman), there does seem to be a social criticism implied in the lack of fairness, unequal opportunities, inability to enjoy a sense of accomplishment, and living conditions wherein all roads lead nowhere or downward.
May 6 Collection of Media Worksheet 1 on "Viewing" Both periods: Grammar Tuesday! Common Errors in Diction Period 4: Reflections on quality of writing. Period 3: Review of what you do when you're away: You access this web site and check in with your Study Buddies to find out what you missed, and then you do the work. I also pointed out that you need to encourage your parent to call the school when you're absent so that your teachers are not left with the impression that you are skipping class.
May 7 Second all for of Media Worksheet 1 on "Viewing" Homework: Media Worksheet 2 on "Developing Media Literacy". Both Periods: We finished our novel! Yay! Period 3: Today I strongly recommended that students do the homework that is assigned, even when it doesn't count for marks, in order to learn the material. The homework is designed to give you an opportunity to practise thinking and writing skills before you have to do an evaluation. It's also given to you to cause you to review the material so that you can learn it, not just remember it for a test and then forget it. Period 4: Test next week announced.
May 8 Third call for Media Worksheet 1 on "Viewing" Collection of Media Worksheet 2 on Development Media Literacy". Homework: Media Worksheet 3 on "Film and Television" Both Classes: We started writing a class essay on irony. The first step on a BROAD topic is to NARROW it down to a manageable and supportable topic. From there, we determined the overall method of development. I pointed out the problems with the common chronological approach to determining the effectiveness or function of an element of fiction. Then I suggested some more difficult, but weightier methods that require more thorough knowledge of the piece of literature, the functions of elements of fiction, the function of stylistic devices, and the resulting types of messages (themes). NO "research" required for this essay; please, let's just figure things out because we can. Period 4 - Test on TATDOAPTI on Wednesday.
Period 3 - Test on Animal Farm next Thursday announced.
ENG2D Animal Farm Essay.doc
ENG2D Animal Farm Essay.doc
ENG2D Animal Farm Essay.doc

Media Worksheets here:
ENG2D Media Worksheets.docx
ENG2D Media Worksheets.docx
ENG2D Media Worksheets.docx

May 9 Third and final session in Library for Media Literacy "Global Citizenship" Activity. Completed activity is due to Ms. Kidd one week from today. Collection of Common Errors in Diction sheet (due yesterday) and Media Literacy Worksheet 3 "Film and Television" collected. Today was second call for Worksheet 2 and third call for Worksheet 1. HOMEWORK: To do... (1) IF you have fallen behind in your Media work, please catch up this weekend. You will see that the worksheets are embedded above. (2) IF you have fallen behind in your Writing Exercise on Diction, please catch up on this this weekend. Diction handouts here:
Commonly Mixed Up Words.docx
Commonly Mixed Up Words.docx
Commonly Mixed Up Words.docx

(3) Study for your novel test coming up this week. Reminder--It's on Wednesday for Period 4 and the evaluation is on Thursday for Period 3.
9 Ways to Become a Better Leader
9 Ways to Become a Better Leader

9 Ways to Become a Better Leader

(4) IF you're keeping up with your work on a daily basis so you already know your novel like the back of your hand (you read ahead and were already "studying" it when we read it aloud and discussed it in class) you're where you're supposed to be and have no homework! You can get a head start on your summative--go ahead and check out the information about the Summative Task in the sidebar of this web site.
Image credit: Shutterstock
May 12 Period 4 - After returning some work, I reviewed the instructions from April 16 and I reviewed what a target audience of a media text is. (See diagram on home page of this web site. Homework: Please do that work and hand it in tomorrow. Next, we continued with the class's essay on irony. Together we worked on the use of transitional phrases and working out the wording of specific references to the text.
Period 3 - Today we wrote the first body paragraph of the class's essay on irony. Together we worked on the use of transitional phrases and working out the wording of specific references to the text.
ENG2D Animal Farm Essay 2.doc
ENG2D Animal Farm Essay 2.doc
ENG2D Animal Farm Essay 2.doc
Homework: Read the instructions on Integrating Quotations found on the home page of this web site.
Let's review the following: - single and double quotation marks - parenthetical references - literary present - transitional phrase, context, speaker, and purpose before the reader is confronted with a quotation - explanation of the relevance and significance after the quotation
May 13 Homework collection from last week. Period 3 - We reviewed the inverted pyramid structure of an article and political issues surrounding bias in newspapers. Here is a reminder that you have an evaluation on your novel tomorrow. Period 4 - Students identified the poetic devices in a poem, and wrote a paragraph on its relevance to the novel. Here is the poem: I Lost My Talk. Reminder that you have an evaluation on your novel tomorrow.
May 14 Period 4 - Test day. Good job, everybody. Period 3 - I pointed out the problem of illustrating irony. You need to address this in your revisions to the Animal Farm essay (due Friday). Tomorrow's your test. Here's the documentary on American Secrets I was talking about today: Frontline American Secrets
ENG2D Animal Farm Essay 3.doc
ENG2D Animal Farm Essay 3.doc
ENG2D Animal Farm Essay 3.doc

May 15 Period 3 - You did your evaluation for Animal Farm today. Tomorrow, you have the whole period to complete the essay we began as a class. (See attachment above.) Period 4 - We discussed the summative task that's starting next week. (Go to ENG2D Summative Task in the sidebar of this web site.) Then we continued to compose your novel essay on irony. You learned what a directional statement is, and you reviewed how transitional phrases work. This is how far we got:

May 16 Both classes: You have the entire period today to rewrite and complete the essay we composed as a class in your own words. This is to be handwritten in pen and handed in by the end of the period so you can enjoy your long weekend. On Tuesday, we will begin the Summative process. (See ENG2D Summative Task link in the sidebar.)
May 20 Back from Victoria Day weekend! Both classes: We were in the library today. Each student found a poem or story written by a First Nations writer. These were printed out in the library and handed in for our class anthology. See the ENG2D Summative Task link in the sidebar of this web site for next steps.
May 21 Both classes: Research on author, tribe, and symbols (using Dictionary of Symbols on hold in the Library). See the ENG2D Summative Task link in the sidebar of this web site for next steps.
May 22 Both classes: You revealed that you 'know your stuff' by doing a pop quiz on your found text. Next, you did a close reading of the piece and gathered your thoughts about the function of one dominant image or symbol in your piece by writing a paragraph about it. I gave an explanation of what a response is, and you started planning out what kind of media text you're going to make for your summative presentation! See the ENG2D Summative Task link in the sidebar of this web site for next steps.
June 3 You handed in your formal essay today. Good job! I handed back your novel study test and your summative presentation mark. Those who had their essays ready to hand in at the start of the period started reviewing and preparing for the exam. Those who were away will need to catch up for homework. Instructions: Read Chapter 1-3 "Poetry" in Resourcelines 9/10 and make notes on all the definitions (poetic forms, figures of speech, terms and techniques, etc.). Read "Tangled" by Carl Leggo three times and follow the instructions outlined in the chapter for your readings. Answer the "Responding Critically to Poetry" questions in response to "Tangled".
June 11 Today we finished taking up the material for Media Literacy. Here are the resources for your studying for your assessment quiz (or make-up evaluation) on Monday.
Ad Deconstruction Grade 10 Media Unit.ppt
Ad Deconstruction Grade 10 Media Unit.ppt
Ad Deconstruction Grade 10 Media Unit.ppt
ENG2D Media Worksheets.docx
ENG2D Media Worksheets.docx
ENG2D Media Worksheets.docx

June 12
ENG2D Activity for June 12.docx
ENG2D Activity for June 12.docx

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N.B. Notes on the Elements of Fiction (e.g. POV) Quick Reference on Elements of Fiction Quick notes on POV Enrichment notes on POV PPP on Elements of Fiction
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU: Animal Farm online Context of the Novel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCe0nzdD76k Romeo and Juliet Audio Book Romeo and Juliet Parallel Text Romeo and Juliet text with annotations and line refs What is a sonnet?
Keep all your writing exercises, inspirations, research for writing projects, drafts, editing notes, and finished pieces.
  • Remember to PRINT your draft after a revision session to get credit for your revision work.
  • Remember to BACK UP your material on your computer, and don't delete any of work until the course is over.
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS AND EVALUATIONS(Revised May 5)Mini-evaluation for Listening, Reading, and Writing, Mar. 4Evaluation of scene performances, Mar. 5 and 6Newspaper report assessment, Thurs., Mar. 20Sight Passage practice exercise, Mar. 25Literacy test, Mar. 27Media--Movie Scene analysis assessment, Mar. 31 or Apr. 1Sight Passage major evaluation, Thurs., Apr. 3Sight Passage major evaluation continued Thurs., Apr. 10Media Literacy, April 23, 24, May 9Essay Evaluation, T.B.A.Media Analysis evaluation, T.B.A.Media Creation, T.B.A.In-class Summative Begins May 20

Learning Journal

Keep your evaluations in a section of your binder so you can track your progress and review your corrections. From time to time, you will write a reflection on your learning style and progress. Help for students struggling with Romeo and Juliet


Shakespeare's England Romeo and Juliet Watching/Listening Activity: Original Pronunciation (10 min.) //The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet// by Arthur Brooke (1562) Ballet version Act 3 Ballet - Tragic ending Shane K's "To This Day" "Borders" by Thomas King "I Lost My Talk" by Rita Joe

Grammar Review Booklet__ The topics are
  • Use of apostrophe
  • Recognizing independent clauses and dependent clauses, and also when a sentence is complete, and when it is a fragment
  • How to correct sentence fragments
  • How to correct run-ons (fused sentences) and comma-splices.
  • How to use semi-colons
  • How to use colons
  • Parallelism: how to correct faulty parallelism
How to format titles in your essays More information on how to format titles
Reaching Ahead: Style: - Making every sentence count; Don't write pointless sentences, and don't use vague diction; e.g., "There are various important secondary characters in the play." - Smart, lean sentences, useful detail, completion of an idea, grammatical and stylistically sound. - Avoiding redundant sentences. - Being judicious with your grammatical choices; e.g., correcting c-s with period, semi-colon, or coordinating conjunction.


Petrarchan Sonnel on meter__: From Bad to Verse and Poetic Meter and Rhythm. the Great Chain of Being Castle of Knowledge PPP on Elements of Fiction Mr. Sheehy's lesson on allusions

ENG2D To Kill a Mockingbird.doc
ENG2D To Kill a Mockingbird.doc
ENG2D To Kill a Mockingbird.doc

The Castle of Knowledge <-- Check this out if you're doing the Fortune essay prompt Shakespeare's sources and other information Enrichment:
- Robert Fludd images - Fludd's metaphor of the cosmos as a stringed instrument: divine harmony - Good link for camera shots http://library.thinkquest.org/C0130148/english/prod_angles_and_shots.htm


ENG4U Sem 2 2014

Feb. 3 Today a course description was handed out, we watched a TED Talk, we had a class discussion about it, and students wrote a reflection on either the TED Talk or the discussion to hand in as a writing sample.
ENG4U Course Description Feb 2014.docx
ENG4U Course Description Feb 2014.docx

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Here is the TED Talk we watched today: The Hidden Meanings in Kids' Movies
Terminology used in today's discussion: exposition argument thesis methods of development support: valid, relevant, sufficient advocacy unity (in writing and in compositions in general) Bechdel test
Feb. 4 Today I read several responses to yesterday's TED Talk and pointed out some notable writing techniques in the pieces: (1) great organization and support; (2) the use of concrete imagery; (3) detail; and (4) firsthand observation.
Terminology used in today's class: topic sentence concrete / abstract generality persuasion / persuasive technique imagery connotation
I read yesterday's anonymous questions and answered all of them. Here are a few points that arose: (1) I want to protect your privacy so if you have a request regarding your IEP or other special needs that are documented through the administration, feel free see me privately after class or during lunch. (2) When you are absent, you must find out what you missed and then learn the material. If you need help with that, you will need to ask me for help; otherwise, I will trust that you managed on your own. When it comes to tests, you are not exempt from knowing material that was covered during your absence, so make sure that if you need help, you ask for it well in advance of an evaluation. (3) Regarding presentations, although I will not evaluate your presentation privately during lunch, there are other ways I can accommodate your anxiety about presenting. (4) My favourite type of pasta is spaghetti; thanks for asking. (5) In my opinion, the wingspan of an ostrich is approximately five feet.
The class voted and decided the following: 1. The novel we will study as a class is The Great Gatsby. 2. We will be doing the ISU unit as Reading Circles. I'll give out a list of books soon.
Media Literacy: Take stock of what you already know: (1) What is media literacy? (2) Why do we study it in school? (3) What is a media text? Give some examples. (4) What do media texts have to do with culture? (5) What is deconstruction?
Homework Exercise due Thursday Punctuation Points: The Colon -- The colon is used after an independent clause to introduce an important idea, to introduce a complex list, or to introduce a quotation. Read the resource on The Colon on the home page of this web site and then compose an example for each of these uses. This task is homework, and it is due on Thursday.
Feb. 5 I was away. In my absence, you completed a sight passage exercise. This was collected at the end of the period.
Feb. 6
I collected your homework on colons. I did a brief review of some terms: generality and detail; abstract and concrete; and opinion, argument, thesis, and support. Those students who had not already done the Media Literacy questions from Tuesday did so while some students typed up their answers on a handout on Colons. Everyone signed out a copy of King Lear and a Resourcelines textbook. Homework for tomorrow: Read the start of Section 4 in Resourcelines and improve your answers to the Media Literacy questions from Feb. 4.
Feb. 7 I returned the Colon homework I collected from you yesterday, and then I collected the Media Literacy homework assigned yesterday.
We examined the use sample sentences from the students who volunteered their answers to the Colon homework.. Thank you, brave contributors! Your offerings are very much appreciated! I pointed out some snaggly issues like spelling out numbers, using Canadian spellings in spite of our American spell checkers, using colon rather than dashes in formal papers, applying parallelism in lists, and using the Oxford comma. Remember the material before a colon is an independent clause, and the material after the colon is an elaboration, a clarification, or a breakdown of the introductory clause.
We watched an excerpt from a Video clip of King Lear (1:25:13) and you made predictions speculating what was making King Lear so angry. I introduced the topic and characters of the opening scene, and we began to read.
Homework assigned today for Tuesday: Applying colons to sentences about King Lear.
ENG4U Colon exercise.docx
ENG4U Colon exercise.docx
ENG4U Colon exercise.docx
Write three sentences about King Lear. In each, use a colon in a different way.
Feb. 10 Media: Today I returned the Media Literacy homework that I collected on Friday. If you missed handing in that homework on Friday and would like feedback on yours, please arrange a meeting with me during lunch. Today's media lesson answered question 1: What is media literacy? Writing: The colon exercise I handed out on Friday is due tomorrow. KL: We finished reading Act 1, Scene 1. Here is the vocabulary used in class today:
decorum verse prose blank verse meter noble / ignoble
Homework: Tomorrow I will collect your colon exercise and find out who is in your reading group.
Feb. 11 Media: I taught a brief lesson addressing the question, What is a media text? (notes on blackboard) Writing: I collected the colon exercise and distributed a handout on Integrating Quotations (see link on home page of this web site, under Information and Resources). The homework is to select a quotation from King Lear and say something about it three times, using three different ways of punctuating the quotation into your sentence: 1. using colon, 2. using comma, and 3. using no punctuation. This homework is due on Thursday. KL: We read a couple more scenes with discussion about Edmund's and Goneril's duplicitous behaviour. The motifs of innocence, betrayal, and hypocrisy are emerging. Reading groups were established at the end of the period.
Feb. 12 KL: Students were given time to divvy up the questions for Act 1.
Feb. 13 KL: I was absent this day. Students worked on the questions for Act 1.
Feb. 14 Students composed metaphors and then we read in KL.
Feb. 18 Writing: (1) When quoting verse, you use an oblique (slash) to indicate line breaks. Remember that you DO NOT use an oblique to indicate line breaks when quoting prose! (2) Lesson on parenthetical references for Shakespeare--notes on blackboard. KL: We finished reading Act 2 today, and groups divvied up the questions. You'll have time to work on these tomorrow in class. Motifs of note--an ironic link between rhetoric and truth; private vs. public selves--identity, truth, hypocrisy, and disguise; the symbolism of the storm and the problematic term pathetic fallacy.
Feb. 19 Media: I took up the definition culture and pop culture (Resourcelines 187), and what media has to do with it. I also pointed out the six key concepts involved in deconstruction (192-5). Writing: As I took up these media principles, I pointed out the need to balance generalities with specifics (e.g., examples) when giving answers. I returned the Integrating Quotations exercise, taught how to smooth out a sentence blip, and assigned revisions (short pink assignment sheet).
sentence blip.doc
sentence blip.doc

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KL: Students had some time in class to either work on their assigned Act 2 questions or do their revisions to their Integrating Quotations exercise.
Here are some of the references used spontaneously in discussion of the material: Example of culture that is not pop culture: Francis Bacon Example of pop culture: Are you keeping up? and D'oh! Example of "unintentional" symbolism: Georgia O'Keefe
Feb. 20 Media: I gave a lesson with notes on the blackboard to synthesize the information in Resourcelines (pages 192-5). In addition to comprehension, the purpose of this lesson was to demonstrate a Level 4 response to the question "What is deconstruction?" which is a synthesis of information expressed in depth through generalities, particulars, and details. Oral Communication: I also pointed out that my objective was to provide a demonstration of the expectations for a Level 4 presentation--i.e., LEARN the material. In this case, I delivered a thorough explanation of the definition of deconstruction without notes, answering questions spontaneously, and making eye contact. Although my presentation (i.e., lesson) was approximately 30 minutes, your goal is 5 minutes. KL: Students had 30 minutes to work on their KL questions.
Things handed in: Revisions to "Integrating Quotations" exercise and KL questions for Act 1 and 2.
Homework: Reading to be done by Tuesday--Resourcelines chapters on "Still Images" with an eye on the elements of design and the chapter on "Advertising" with a focus on advertising techniques.
Feb. 21 SNOW DAY!!!
Feb. 24 Media: Pop! Quiz on Elements of Design. Let's try that again tomorrow. Pop! Quiz on Techniques in Advertising coming up on Wednesday. Why do you have to learn these and the key concepts of deconstruction? KL: We read the first two scenes in Act 3. The following terms and concepts, and their relevance to the scenes were discussed: symbolism of crown (or absence of it) and the theme of identity the importance of the motif of the fracturing of identity symbolism of the storm The Great Chain of Being, microcosms and macrocosms, and "this little world, man" the felix culpa Oral Communication: Handout on Seminars given out. What's a Seminar? Evaluation Announced: Tuesday, Mar. 4.
Feb. 25 Writing: Please complete the following tutorial by Monday: Improving Concision (Eliminating Wordiness) Oral Communication: Preparation for Seminar Task -- What is a seminar? Ref. to first class on TED Talk. Let's begin on Thursday. Media: Review of Elements of Design -- Repeat of yesterday's POP! Quiz -- How many can you name? Next step: Do you know what they are? Can you identify and discuss numerous elements of design in a still image? formal analysis of still image KL: Continue reading Act 3. Let's do a practice sight passage activity on ??? in order to get ready for Mar. 19.
Feb. 26 Media: Still Images--Symbolic Codes and Technical Codes. Although these work together in a still image, the two were isolated to show (a) symbols operate within a cultural and authorial context; and (b) elements of design do have inherent "messages" apart from the subjects they represent. We "read" a conceptual drawing that I drew on the blackboard, and then we decoded some of the "messages" inherent in different lines and shapes. Then we decoded and analysed Google Doodle. Tomorrow, a prize will be awarded to the individual who can say "Decode the Google Doodle" five time--in sequence--the fastest. Also tomorrow is a petit-quiz on advertising techniques. How many can you list? KL Seminars: I completed the explanation of this task; we begin tomorrow. I want to see you be brave.
Feb. 27 I gave a lesson reviewing what needs to happen when it comes to your being absent for classes. You filled out a Study Buddy form showing that you have two people in the class covering your back when you're away. You also know that you must connect with me early to make an appointment to see me for extra help if you need it. You need to take action; it's your responsibility. I will help you if you communicate with me, and if you do so early enough to give me time to help you out. KL Seminars: These were well done! Way to go, guys!
Feb. 28 The test coming up on Tuesday, March 4 was announced four days ago. Have you begun to study for it yet? If you were away, have you borrowed the notes yet? Media: Today you did your second try at the quiz regarding advertising techniques. These were well done! KL: We read the weird and surreal hovel scene and in your reading groups, you examined how the different characters act as foils, emphasizing various aspects of King Lear's character. Motifs of interest: public vs. private selves, honesty and the virtue of projecting a true version of one's self, the effects of Lear's fractured identity, hypocrisy, forced hypocrisy (disguises), reversals of positive and negative values, foolishness, and loyalty. Homework due Wednesday: Read up on the Elizabethan Worldview by reading two links on the home page of this website under the heading "Information and Resources" -- (1) The Elizabethan World View and (2) Wheeler's PPP on The Great Chain of Being.
Mar. 3 KL: We finished Act 3 and we discussed the relevance of the Great Chain of the themes in the play. I pointed out the importance of the subplot in revealing motifs in the main plot with a focus on Gloucester, I pointed out the helpful graphs in the hardback copy of our play, and I defined the following terms and described their relevance to the play:
tragic hero hamartia hubris nemesis
Seminar documents were returned to seminar leaders and the format of the test tomorrow was reviewed.
Mar. 4 KL and Media: Students wrote their test today. Students who were absent will write their test tomorrow.
Mar. 5 Students who were absent for the test yesterday wrote their test today. I reminded everyone of the sight passage evaluation happening on Mar. 19 and reviewed the format. The class decided to have a practice on the Monday we return, but I'll have a practice test available for you tomorrow just in case you are absent on the Monday of our practice run. By now, you have completed the on-line tutorial that was due Monday to improve the concision in your writing, and you've done the assigned reading on the Elizabethan worldview which was due today. I talked about the listening strategy of doing assigned readings in order to equip you to participate in class, and how that works in university. For the purposes of validating and encouraging students who take care of themselves by doing the assigned homework, I asked everyone to write a brief write-up of what they learned from the assigned reading. We then started going over the material to look for ideas that inform our reading of King Lear. This is a potential seminar topic for tomorrow. Students then had 30 minutes to connect and prepare for tomorrow's seminars. Homework: This is a fixer-upper! Please do the following exercises from the handout on Quotations Marks that you received today-- 20.1 due tomorrow 20.2 due Mar. 18 20.3 due Mar. 20 20.4 due Mar. 21 20.5 due Mar. 24
Mar. 6 Last day before March Break! At the start of class I walked through the first half of Wheeler's PPP on The Great Chain of Being to review what you read and answer questions. We will be moving on, so if you didn't read this material from Feb. 28, you still have time to catch up before your Sight Passage evaluation on Mar. 19.
You got into your seminar groups and I was able to sit in on one of them to hear quite an interesting discussion of the role of the Fool. A particularly poignant question was raised: To what degree are Shakespeare's Fools unnatural? I saw some good seminar reports submitted with some improvement from last week.
At the end of the period I distributed copies of The Great Gatsby so you can get started on your reading if you want to head off some pressure down the road. If you didn't get a copy, you can read one online-- The gutenberg online Gatsby-- or you can have it read to you. Please don't feel you've read the book if you watched the movie; you'll eventually need to know the differences between the book and the movie.
If you requested a practice test for the Sight Passage evaluation but did not pick one up from me at the end of the period, you can still practice! Use two pages from KL such as (3.4.1-53) and write a short essay answering one of the following prompts: (1) Explain what is occurring in this passage, how it relates to the rest of the play, and how it advances the major theme(s); (2) analyse how setting contributes to the theme(s) of the play; or (3) explain how style of diction and figures of speech contribute to characterization and/or theme. For the third question, you should be focussing on manner of style (i.e. prose or verse, level of language, invective) and types of rhetorical figures (e.g., metaphors, similes, imagery) instead of subtexts of what characters say.
If you were away yesterday and did not obtain yesterday's handout on Quotation Marks, you can still obtain the essential information from this web site on proper formatting of titles: Formatting Titles in Essays.
Remember to find out what you've missed when you're absent by connecting with your Study Buddy, visiting this web site, and/or setting up an appointment to sit down with me during our lunch hour.
Have a great March break and we'll see you on St. Patrick's Day!
Mar. 17 Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today was the first day back from March Break.
I collected the homework (Quotation Marks and Titles 20.1) that was due the Thursday before March Break. I recorded completion a gave a comment, but we'll take these up tomorrow.
You did a little exercise on Integrating Quotations. I returned these with a comment and you can check your answers by clicking the link under "Information and Resources" on the home page of this web site. When you get there, you will need to click on the QUIZ link in the top right-hand corner of the site.
I read through the instructions and rubric for the practice Sight Passage exercise. This is a practice for Wednesday. Those of you who want direct feedback from me handed in your work; the rest can complete the task for homework.
If you found yourself drawing a blank when it came to figures of speech today, you might benefit from this PPP. It's still in draft mode, but it may help you out: (Removed temporarily morning of Mar. 19 to correct an error.)
I am also in the process of making this PPP for paragraph organization. I have not yet adapted it for Grade 12, but feel free to look at it if you feel it can help you with organizing body paragraphs.
Paragraph Structure.pptx
Paragraph Structure.pptx
Paragraph Structure.pptx

Homework: If you are on top of your work, please do the following Media Literacy practice. Please divide a page in half lengthwise. On the left, in point form, list your observations and inferences regarding the symbolic codes in this image. On the right, focus on each of the elements of design: for each, give a short objective description of how that element is done (e.g., jagged lines for lightning, soft lines for Lear's hair, larger soft lines for the draping of his cape being blown by the wind, etc., and then see if an interesting inference comes to you as a result of the artist's treatment of a particular element of design. When you're done, you can see if there are any correlations or anomalies between the symbolic codes on the left of your sheet(s), and the technical codes on the right side of your sheet(s).
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRt_OynXURPWYJBzDPPcLdnr0UncOMrJNb4YSx_2Vq01k7C25iQEQ
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRt_OynXURPWYJBzDPPcLdnr0UncOMrJNb4YSx_2Vq01k7C25iQEQ
Mar. 18 We did an analysis of an image, separating symbolic and technical codes in order to focus our eyes on the elements of design.
I applied this process to our study of literature using a formalistic approach, focusing on the elements of fiction and related literary devices.
Students had time to check their answers to Quotation Marks and Titles 20.1 and 20.2 using an answer key. I reviewed this journal and pointed out some concepts that would be worthwhile reviewing before the test.
Mar. 19 You wrote your Sight Passage test today. Way to go! Reminder: Grammar exercise and a seminar tomorrow.
Mar. 20 Media: At the start of class I used a personal anecdote (re: Tim Hortons) to raise the topic of deconstruction, and I assigned the homework for thinking skills: What are the questions that arise from each of the key concepts of deconstruction (ref: lessons beginning Feb. 6) that we can use for the purposes of deconstructing media texts (e.g., packaging design like a Timmy's coffee cup). KL Seminars: I ascertained who has led seminars, who would lead the seminars today, and who needs to lead the seminars next Thursday. Before you got into your seminar groups, I discussed the relevance of the task and deadlines to real life university and workplace experiences. Following seminars, everyone submitted the work. Assessments: At the end of class, I distributed checklists of assessments and homework that was not collected at the time due to absence, etc.
Mar. 21 Media: I collected the media homework assigned yesterday. KL: I gave a lesson to review and develop the topic of decorum as a technique evident in Shakespeare's work. Following an explanation, I gave specific examples of decorum used for characterization, to create irony, and for development of theme. After that, we read in the play. We are seeing inversions such as an invasion of Britain by France which would normally be portrayed in a negative light, but in a setting turned on its head, we welcome France's arrival. We are witnessing the aftermath of the crisis point in the plot: power is shifting hands as we witness Albany's voice emerging. Another speech of note is a Gentleman's description of Cordelia: I pointed out something curious about the decorum of that speech that calls attention to a theme being revealed through the imagery. I also went over the words noble and ignoble. If you missed class, feel free to follow up on the particulars of these topics by getting the notes from your study buddies and/or see me during lunch for extra help. Assessments and Evaluations: I pointed out the upcoming assessments and evaluations, and showed everyone where they are on my web site (scroll down).
Mar. 24 KL: We completed our reading of Act IV.
Mar. 25 Writing Skills:
Paragraph Structure.pptx
Paragraph Structure.pptx
Paragraph Structure.pptx
When is it more appropriate to structure a paragraph in the first manner demonstrated in the PPP, and when is it more appropriate to structure a paragraph in the second manner?
Some language covered today: argument juxtaposition dichotomy synthesis
Media and KL: I returned the first set of tests you did.
We didn't take up your Quotation Marks and Formatting Titles exercises today, (sheesh) nor did we do the print ad assessment (double-sheesh). Let's start with those things tomorrow! No-homework-Tuesday! (sheesh-sheesh-sheesh!)
Mar. 26 - This morning, I decided to bring KL to the foreground because you'll want to get it read in plenty of time to review for your Apr. 1 Sight Passage evaluation. We nearly got to the end. We're observing the various faces of King Lear demonstrated through his dialogue, the restoration of order as a result of the "invasion of France", Edmund's calculated strategies to gain power, and the emergence of Albany and Edgar. Homework:
Ad Deconstruction.ppt
Ad Deconstruction.ppt
Ad Deconstruction.ppt
Handouts: "The Paragraph" which outlines how to write an essay as follow-up for the PPP on paragraph construction I did yesterday.
Mar. 27 We finished reading the play! Please look up (1) pathos (2) pathetic character / sympathetic character (3) catastrophe (4) catharsis (5) classical tragedy. That way, you can walk into class, tomorrow, with some information that you can apply to our reflections upon King Lear.
Mar. 28 What did you bring with you? (Me, I had Timbits.) On the theme of bringing something to the text (i.e., knowledge) to inform your reading, I gave a quiz on the homework material, AND a BONUS quiz to test some basic language relevant to the psychoanalytical approach to literature. Some people may be rusty on last year's notes on this approach, although some of you did just fine on this quiz--way to go! If you're behind, you will want to brush up on this material because it'll come in handy on the upcoming evaluation as a possible writing topic. Review these words: Freudian, id, superego, ego, phallic symbol, Jungian, persona, shadow, process of individuation. If you have lost your notes from ENG3U or if your class did not cover these specific terms, you can visit a link on the home page of this web site, under "Information and Resources", called Freudian Terminology. As for the Jungian terms I'm asking you to review, here is an article that describes the shadow and identifies the persona: What is the Shadow? As for the process of individuation, the following web site is very helpful and easy to read: Major Archetypes and the Process of Individuation
During class, I outlined some other critical approaches on the blackboard and gave a BRIEF description, the logic behind them, the type of knowledge required to do them, and some pros and cons. Many of them have been at play in the types of questions I've asked you regarding King Lear. Today, as I covered the different approaches, I made relevant the conventions of classical tragedy (the words you looked up yesterday) and the implications inherent in the degree to which an artist conforms to artistic conventions, the historical approach to literature, deconstruction, and the psychoanalytical lens. I identified what type of questions apply to which critical approach. I used the analogy of a racetrack to, hopefully, capture how we are now organizing the types of questions you're confronted with in English class into schools of thought that we call "critical approaches to literature". If you're interested in learning more about these different approaches to literature, feel free to scroll up on this page and find a link in the sidebar called "Critical Approaches". There you will find a couple of internet links that describe the myriad lenses used to analyse literature.
Handout: Definition of "tragedy" and other terms from A Handbook to Literature to supplement your research.
At the end of the period I collected the Cordelia speech homework.
As you study and review the play, keep one eye open for applications of your knowledge of the Elizabethan worldview, questions involving deconstruction (like issues of representation, culture, and application of conventions) Here's the play to watch if you feel it will help you study for the sight passage evaluation on Tuesday.
Have a good weekend!
Mar. 31 Today I emptied my files and gave back what I had, including your Mar. 19 evaluation. On the blackboard, I gave a short list of standard figures of speech from previous grades: metaphor, simile, personification, verbal irony (pun, understatement, sarcasm), and allusion (biblical, classical, historical, literary, etc.). I pointed out the problem of identifying figures solely as "imagery" since much of what is written in literature is imagery of some sort. Try to use precise diction while you discuss the imagery that is employed as a vehicle in these types of figures. Using an overhead, we took up the figures of speech present in the Cordelia speech that was given for homework a while back and handed in on Friday. In it we saw alliteration and rhetorical questions. A couple of terms that may be new are synecdoche, metonymy, and analogy. In terms of poetic form and structure, many people were able to note that the passage was blank verse, and I explained the influence of the meter--the adherence to it, and the variation in it--on our interpretation of the piece. Other relevant poetic devices discussed were cacophony, euphony, enjambment, caesura, and connotation (diminution in this case). I was thrilled to see that some were able to notice a concordance between the images of lightning and thunder with the sound effects created through diction (alliteration and breaks in the rhythm of the meter). Tomorrow's evaluation will consist of a sight passage with several prompts. You will be asked to respond to two of them, each answer being approximately one paragraph that demonstrates your learning of paragraph structure, concision, use of quotations with parenthetical references, and detailed references to other episodes in the play. The questions will be similar to the previous two evaluations, but you will also need to demonstrate some technical knowledge as a basis for analysis: formalistic (like we did today), Elizabethan worldview (historical), comparing this play to other Shakespeare plays (deconstruction); applications of conventions of tragedy and classical tragedy (deconstruction).
Apr. 1 You wrote your King Lear evaluations! Yay! They look GRRRRREAT!
Apr. 2 KL / Media: Today we watched the following documentary about kings in medieval England not only to inform our reading of King Lear, but also to provide a premise for deconstructing the play as a commercial pop culture media text in its time. During our viewing, you identified the arguments that emerged along the way, and the conclusion regarding representation (of leadership and moral codes) as well as political and financial agendas. The documentary exemplified the value of inductive reasoning in the delivery of an argument. In contrast with the deductive organization taught on Mar. 25 for the purposes of answering questions and organizing body paragraphs in essays, how is an inductive organization preferable for the type of documentary we watched today? Kings of England
Apr. 3: KL / Media: What's up with the bloodbaths that conclude Shakespeare's tragedies? Besides the philosophical principles of justice, martyrdom, and the of restoration of order, let's consider public taste for violence as entertainment. What agendas does violence serve? Today we watched a documentary on... Gladiators of Ancient Rome ...which examines violence as entertainment. From that we can reflect upon the violence present in tragedies in the past, and think about the implications of violent media texts consumed for entertainment in our own society. Some language covered today: socialization objectification and depersonalization conditioning ideology thanatos Points of note were looking for the rationalizations of violence within the culture during the time of its use, and the political agenda driving it. In terms of media technique, we examined a visual aid used in the documentary. A circular conceptual diagram of the Roman worldview gets inverted and turned into an image of a coliseum. This inversion illustrates the reversal of the Roman worldview: Rome saw itself as a civilized society surrounded by savagery; the coliseum--the circular killing theatre--symbolized Rome's control of savagery. If the irony in that doesn't come across, the satirical stance of the documentary becomes clear in the description of Rome's need to train surrounding lands who resisted the brutality of the practice. As they sought to become Romanized, they evidently needed a process of conditioning in order to get accustomed to, accept, and gradually integrate killing into its spectacles.
A summary of implications regarding the ideology of power was written on the blackboard.
NOTE: We did not get to the end of the documentary and, therefore, missed the point that the tragedian Seneca (a favourite author of Shakespeare) visited the coliseum and was appalled at the meaningless slaughter he witnessed. (He didn't object to the violence, he objected to the lack of purpose or meaning.) Oddly, Shakespeare's early tragedies are the most gratuitously bloody--a quality that has been linked to his interest in Seneca. However, Shakespeare's later tragedies (like King Lear) seem to become less gratuitous and gain depth of purpose.
Apr. 4 Media, Critical Literacy (Reading), Listening, and Speaking - The critical lens of the feminist approach to literature was addressed today through Jean Kilbourne's Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising's Image of Women. Since students are already aware of what feminism is, the focus of this lesson was the quality of the argument: to what degree Kilbourne delivers her thesis effectively. Note-taking: In terms of content, you were looking for the arguments being conveyed and the type of development (e.g., examples, statistics, reference to authority). You are asked to assess the quality of the support in terms of both logic and rhetorical effectiveness. In terms of technique, you were making observations on presentation techniques such as voice, non-verbal communication, use of visual aids, etc. We discussed the political implications inherent in the techniques (or in some cases, lack of them) in Kilbourne's delivery.
This documentary is a library DVD; therefore, if you are absent from class, you will need to follow up with your Study Buddy for their notes. Scratch that! Found it on utube: Killing Us Softly 4
Homework: Read ahead in The Great Gatsby if you haven't done so already.
Apr. 7 Media, Reading, Listening - Took up the points of support used in the video from Friday. Handout on Methods of Development--I gave a brief definition and some notes on the implications or effect of most of the methods listed on the handout. Handout on feminist critical lens with a reminder that literary "criticism" refers to analysis (critical thinking). Handout on various critical approaches in the form of a chart. Looking at the questions, you may be able to recognize the types of questions you are asked in English class and be able to fit them into a particular type of lens. During the last 15 minutes of class, I described the books available for the reading circle unit and students gave me their top three preferences. Homework: Read the handouts. For the handout on Literary Terms, check off the terms you've already learned and highlight the terms you don't know.
Apr. 9 Ad Deconstruction homework assignment--how to and when to hand it in. We made it due this Friday. Description of Synthesis Paper due Apr. 23 (Take-home essay) Description of main themes and look-fors in The Great Gatsby. Semicolon homework exercise due Monday. Distributed the Reading Circle novels. Everyone knows there will be a supply teacher tomorrow, and everyone has something they can work on.
April 10 This was a work period to work on the exercises and assignments listed above. (See entry for April 9 above.)
April 11 I collected the homework exercise that was due today. I introduced our novel unit by asking students to activate their prior knowledge by defining the essential motif of the novel--the American Dream-. I then pointed out its relevance to novels such as The Great Gatsby or plays like Death of a Salesman and emphasized the tragic consequences for individuals. I also introduced a short documentary on the topic which calls to light the dichotomy of the idea (ideology) of this dream (myth) whose roots are planted in a commercial agenda. Reading (Critical Literacy) and Media Literacy: The American Dream An authority on economics has verified the validity of the implications of the documentary, so our exercise today focussed on the mode of delivery: to problematize the piece by deconstructing it. Regarding methods of persuasion: (a) View this satirical documentary to point out the allusions used to persuade the audience, and (b) show evidence of your learning during the past week as you make critical observations regarding motifs (please review your notes if you don't remember them) and use techniques (e.g., feminist lens). This was collected at the end of the period for assessment of knowledge and thinking skills. Homework: 1. As always, those who were absent for today's lesson are to catch up on what they missed by completing the above for assessment. 2. Please remember to bring your novel with you to class on Monday so we can commence our unit on The Great Gatsby. 3. Reminder: Semicolon homework handed out last Tuesday is due on Monday.
April 14 Writing Conventions: The semicolon exercises were collected, recorded for completion, and returned. The answer sheets were circulated so people could check their answers. If you didn't get this done, remember that you can see me during lunch (if you let me know you're coming) to see the answer sheets again or to get some extra help if you need it. A good question was addressed: Why are you instructed to follow conventions of English when we see the rules broken constantly in the fiction we read. Media, Critical Literacy, and Writing: I distributed the evaluation rubric for the April 23 essay with advice on organization and style in the form of an editing checklist. The description of this assignment was handed out on April 9. Gatsby: We started reading The Great Gatsby. The first few paragraphs of the Introduction revealed the historical context and major themes of the novel. I brought attention to the shifting language styles in the narrative voice and explained the function of statements written in a poetic style. Some noticed the similarity between this writing convention (shifting styles) and Shakespeare's decorum. Please reread the literature handed out on Mar. 28--the definition of tragedy--to look at the modern expression of this genre (form). Oral Communication and Reading (Fluency, Comprehension, and Techniques): Everyone handed in a Listening--Speaking--Thinking worksheet at the end of the period. This is for reviewing and reflecting upon what is read aloud in class, and to become conscious of the messages you're sending through your silence in class. The strategies for building the ability to make contributions to discussions about literature were reviewed: Read ahead, prepare, come to class armed with questions and observations about the readings. Ideally these questions and observations will demonstrate that you have been thinking about the ideas that you have learned so far in this course, in previous English courses, and even in other classes (i.e., This situation in The Great Gatsby reminds me of a unit we studied in Anthro about.... This scene reminds me of the unit we covered in History about... This event is demonstrating x theme that we saw earlier in y documentary about...)
Media Literacy
Media Literacy

Media Literacy
April 15
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Gosh, sure is rainy today. Gee, snow, too. Hope you have your sunglasses!
April 16
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April 22 Gatsby: Today we read part of Chapt. 4 and looked closely at some stylistic devices. Ones of note are polysyndeton, metaphor (in this case, treating something that is heard as though it is something solid), and irony of tone. Students handed in a worksheet for today's reading and discussion. Homework was to finish reading to the end of Chapt. 4 if they had not read it already. KL: I returned the culminating task (Sight Passage) for the King Lear unit. Media and Writing: I gave some last-minute pointers about writing since the Media essay is due tomorrow.
April 23 Media and Writing: I collected your essays today, and WOW, I like what I see! Gatsby: We had a class discussion about the second half of Chapter 4: the backstory revealed by Jordan, the structure of the chapter and Fitzgerald's satirical treatment of society, some issues surrounding representation. Students handed in a worksheet for the day's discussion. Reading Circle Seminars: I distributed the handout containing the description of the task and the rubrics.
ENG4U Seminar Panel Discussion.docx
ENG4U Seminar Panel Discussion.docx
ENG4U Seminar Panel Discussion.docx
April 24 Gatsby: We read Chapter 5 and students handed in a worksheet for today's reading and discussion. We discussed the purpose of some ambiguity in the chapter, the function of narrative POV. I touched on how careful and purposeful ambiguities contribute to creative writing. Homework was to finish reading the chapter and make note of a significant insight at the end of the chapter!
April 25 Gatsby: I handed back the three worksheets for this week with an assessment grade. We read Chapter 6 and students handed in a worksheet for today's reading and discussion. I also gave a task for exercising the reading skill of observing technique in writing. Given two pages of text containing lyrical qualities, the exercise is to identify poetic devices. (We can discuss your observations next week.) Those who finished this exercise today handed it at the end of the period; others took their sheets home to scan them over the weekend. I did not take up the significant insight at the end of chapter 5 today (my own "purposeful ambiguity") because I'm hoping to see it revealed by you in this exercise.
April 28 Life in the 20s Gatsby: Quick review of types of narrative POV. We started reading Chapter 7. Critical Lenses: Reading Groups divvied up the critical approaches. Your group's presentation date is due one week from today. See Assessment/Evaluation Schedule below to see seminar dates. Homework: Check with parents and other teachers to ensure that you are not scheduling your seminar on a date that poses a problem for you. Make sure you can be at school, and make sure that you can follow through on your commitment to fulfill your role in the seminar/panel discussion.
April 29 Flappers (6:30 min.) Gatsby -- Reading/Writing: Returned Chapt. 1 Worksheet with some corrections regarding clear writing. The resulting exercise was to try the plot summary again and to write deliberate, informative sentences that contain useful detail. Survey Day!: We went to the library so you could do your survey. Writing: After the survey, you had 20 minutes to complete the writing exercise in class.
April 30 FSF The Great American Dreamer 1 (10 min.) You pointed out elements in the biography that inform our reading of the novel. Writing: Exemplars were used to show improved writing skills: useful detail, gleaning key details and leaving out superfluous ones, and avoiding useless vague, ambiguous phrases. "Poser" writing, and commercial techniques (e.g., canned phrases) were pointed out (and discouraged in academic writing) through a made-up example. Reading: Covered "effective diction" in the sense of connotative language (e.g. "capture" rather than "summarize"), concrete (not abstract) language, precise diction (i.e., accurate and useful adjectives) using student exemplars.
May 1 2 (10 min.) You pointed out elements of the biography that inform our reading of the novel. Gatsby: The biography made note of Gatsby's "beautiful lyrical writing". On that note, I gave a brief lesson on what that means, and we started to take up the exercise you did for finding rhetorical devices in two poetic passages in the novel. Some techniques and qualities of style of note were cadence, parallel (climactic) structure, alliteration, metaphor, what's not personification, and effective diction.
May 2 Reading and Research Library Workshop and Research Session -- Secondary Sources for Reading Circle Seminars (Critical Approaches). Full period for research and working on the Seminar project. For the handout, please see April 23 journal entry.
May 5 Listening/Writing Thurs. 3(10 min.) 4 (Skip) -- Students did a write-up of ways today's biography viewing informed their reading of the novel. I returned Study Buddy sheets and some reading worksheets. Reading We finished taking up the identification exercise for rhetorical devices present in a couple of pages from the novel. Some techniques noted were contrast in scale, antithesis, climactic structure and anticlimax, oxymoron, paradox, more alliteration, and metaphor. Please take note of arresting metaphorical language whose imagery combines senses in ironic ways (e.g., liquid moonlight or yellow music). Recall that imagery appeals to any of the five senses; it is not only "pictures" the author paints in the reader's imagination, but also scents, sounds, textures, and tastes. We continued to read a little further into Chapter 7. I announced that the evaluation for Gatsby will occur one week from tomorrow: May 13.
May 6 Writing Exercise for Common errors in Diction. Reading/Listening/Speaking Continued reading Chapter 7.
May 7 Listening 5 (Start at 1:30, runs 5 min.) Reading/Listening/Speaking Continued reading Chapter 7 with class discussion and worksheet. Writing Practised extracting key details and leaving out superfluous ones, using concision without sacrificing important details in write-up of plot summary.
May 8 Writing Spelling quiz for stylistic devices Reading/Listening/Speaking Read and discussed Chapter 8 with worksheet.
May 9 Writing Spelling quiz for names of characters in the novel, and other misspelled words. Reading/Listening/Speaking Read Chapter 9--finished novel. The topic of tragedy came up and we pulled out our handout of the definition of tragedy from Mar. 28.
Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy.  - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy. - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy. - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Extended Reading: Echoes of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald Tragedy and the Common Man by Arthur Miller
May 12 Stemming from the question of whether the novel is a tragedy or not, today's topic of discussion revolved around drawing a connection between the above quotation expressed by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby. If you were given a quotation such as this one, how could you respond to it in the form of a media creation? You would want to make sure you demonstrated your ability to think and make connections. Make it something. Letterman Is This Anything? nothing rien nope nada something (lowercase) nuttin' honey something a little something something else something to talk about Some student exemplars were presented. Reminder: Evaluation tomorrow.
May 13 Test day for Gatsby.
May 14 Students who were absent yesterday wrote their test today. Everyone else did either catch up on outstanding homework, working on their seminars, or reached ahead toward their summative task.
May 15 The handout for the Summative Task was distributed:
TED Talk Summative Description June 2014.docx
TED Talk Summative Description June 2014.docx
TED Talk Summative Description June 2014.docx
Students who had not completed the media tasks from April finished getting caught up today:
  • "Burger-baby" Ad Deconstruction homework assigned on April 9, due April 11.
  • April 11 in-class exercise on The Great American Dream.
Students asked questions about the Summative and the Exam. In response, I distributed some old ENG4U Exemplar Booklets so people could take a look at exemplar exam essays. I explained the "is-when" error. We reviewed the dates things are happening. (See schedule below.) We had time left over, so we started watching The Great Gatsby. Here are the instructions:
  1. Specify particular shots or anything you see that offer clues as to the target audience of this production. (e.g., demographics and gender; see home page of this web site for pyramid diagram for target audience.)
  2. Identify visuals and sounds that demonstrate the concepts captured through stylistic devices in the language of the novel.
If you were absent for this, please catch up by watching the first half-hour or so of the modern or 1970s version of the movie.
May 16 Reminder Re: Reading Circle Seminars Reminder to Handmaid's Tale reading circle that you are doing your seminars on the day we return from the long weekend. (1) Today, you need to hand in the outline of your line of argument on the handout I gave you. If you've misplaced your handout, I've embedded it below. This gets handed in today so I have time to read it before your presentation. (2) Since you will be starting at 9:15 on Tuesday, you are making sure that if you need technology to work on Tuesday morning, you are testing it today.
ENG4U Seminar Panel Discussion.docx
ENG4U Seminar Panel Discussion.docx
ENG4U Seminar Panel Discussion.docx
Summative Task Today is a work period for the summative task:
TED Talk Summative Description June 2014.docx
TED Talk Summative Description June 2014.docx
TED Talk Summative Description June 2014.docx

May 20 Back from Victoria Day weekend! Summative Task and Seminars: Today was work period #2 for your TED Talk Summative. Students who chose to work on their summative today did so at the back of the room. Those who preferred to watch the Seminars / Panel Discussion on The Handmaid's Tale did so at the front of the room. Good job guys! Life of Pi is up tomorrow!
May 21 Assembly to hear speeches. We started the Life of Pi seminars.
May 22 We continued the Life of Pi seminars. So far we've received good explanations of Jungian concepts (ego, shadow, collective unconscious, and archetypes) and Freudian concepts (penis and womb envy, Oedipus complex, superego, ego, id). Those presenting next week need not explain these again in their seminars; you'll just dive into the analysis. Tomorrow a couple of speakers need to finish up and then we'll watch some more Gatsby!
May 23-June 11 For the end of May and start of June, you did seminars for your novel reading circle, wrote your examination essay, and did your TED-Talk summative presentations! Next steps: Review for exam and finish watching The Great Gatsby!
June 12 Today you are practising writing a Personal Response. The handout from Monday (or Tuesday if you were absent on Monday) is useful; although, it's not absolutely necessary. You can still do this task if you lost your handout.
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June 13 I handed back the seminar evaluations and your writing practice from yesterday with a letter grade for your information. I also attached the rubric that will be used on your exam. That way, we can discuss this writing practice using the rubric next week. The activity for today was to watch the rest of The Great Gatsby. We just made it as it ended right at the end of the period. You will have a chance to synthesize your notes on the movie on Monday!
For those of you who were absent, here's the first part of the free version on youtube, then just follow the series of parts to see the full move: The Great Gatsby, Part 1
Here are some resources that you can use to prepare for your exam!
Sight Passage The Hunger Game
ENG4U Sight Passage Hunger Game_docx.mht
ENG4U Sight Passage Hunger Game_docx.mht
ENG4U Sight Passage Hunger Game_docx.mht

Sight Passage Exemplars
ENG4U Sight Passage exemplars_docx.mht
ENG4U Sight Passage exemplars_docx.mht
ENG4U Sight Passage exemplars_docx.mht

Media Response Exemplars
ENG4U Media Response Exemplars_docx - Google Drive.mht
ENG4U Media Response Exemplars_docx - Google Drive.mht
ENG4U Media Response Exemplars_docx - Google Drive.mht

ENG4U SampleCokeAd.pdf
ENG4U SampleCokeAd.pdf
ENG4U SampleCokeAd.pdf

ENG4U Exam Template June 2014.doc
ENG4U Exam Template June 2014.doc
ENG4U Exam Template June 2014.doc

TED-talks On the topic of the American Dream: The Future of the American Dream Awakening the American Dream
On the topic of marketing and perception: Life Lessons from an Ad Man The Art of Misdirection__
Schedule of Collections: Formative Assessments and Evaluations: Revised May 5/14
  • Mini-Evaluation for KL and Media: Mar. 4
  • Sight Passage KL Evaluation: Wed., Mar. 19.
  • Seminar Assessment Session #3: Thurs., Mar. 20
  • Seminar Assessment Session #4 Final Session: (Groups of 5, the last 2 people will need to go today.) Thurs., Mar. 27
  • Reflection Paper--Minor Evaluation--on Oral Communication Skills; i.e., Listening and Speaking: Friday, Mar. 28 (to be rescheduled)
  • Sight Passage KL Major Evaluation: Tues., Apr. 1
  • Print Ad Analysis/Deconstruction Assessment: Fri., Apr. 11
  • Media Literacy Synthesis Paper (Documentaries): Wed., Apr. 23
  • Great Gatsby In-class Major Evaluation: Tues., May 13
  • Great Gatsby In-class Film Analysis--Assessment: Wed.-Thurs., May 14-15
  • Great Gatsby Media Text (Print Ad) Construction/Deconstruction--Minor Evaluation: May 22
  • Reading Circle Seminars--Major Evaluation: Confirmed Dates The Handmaid's Tale May 20, Life of Pi May 21, Huckleberry Finn May 27, Strange Heaven May 28, 1984 May 29 (Missed presentations and seminars will be made up during class time.)
  • Reading/Writing Reflection--Minor Evaluation: TBA
  • Media Analysis/Creation Reflection: TBA
  • EXAM IN-CLASS ESSAY: June 3 and 4
USEFUL RESOURCE: King Lear Online PBS King Lear King Lear Parallel Text Love you like salt folktales
Media__ Commercials 60s commercials 1960s toy commercial abc re: ads Fast food, obesity, poverty: http://www.academia.edu/1601156/Cause_and_Effect_Premise_The_Role_of_Poverty_Access_to_Fast_Food_Restaurants_such_as_McDonalds_and_The_Obesity_Epidemic Factors besides availability causing unhealthy diet: http://nccommunitygarden.ncsu.edu/researchDibsdallLambertBobbin%26FrewerAccesstoProduce.pdf Stats on single-parent households: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/09/the-mysterious-and-alarming-rise-of-single-parenthood-in-aerica/279203/