January 23

ELA 9 B7.2 Romeo and Juliet – Romeo Journaling

We’ve just finished reading part way into Act 3, which is the climax part of the play. We understand the for the climax that something happens that cannot be undone and everything unravels from there.

Romeo has just gotten married to Juliet – they’re so happy. He’s waiting until nightfall when he can join her in her bedroom and they can consummate their marriage, without her parents knowing.

His friends are still unaware he’s fallen in love with someone other than Rosaline, let alone that it’s a Capulet and he’s married now.

Romeo believes their marriage might be the bandaid to heal the friction between the Capulets and Montagues and vows to treat them all like his family.

Except Tybalt, still angry that Romeo had the nerve to attend Capulet’s ball uninvited is still searching to have it out with Romeo – a duel to the death is what he’s looking for.

Mercutio is a loud-mouth and doesn’t know Romeo would hope to avoid this fight, so instead he stirs the pot and adds tension to the conversation, causing Tybalt to turn on him. Romeo fights to keep them apart from each other in their duel, and by this action allows Tybalt to get a fatal hit upon Mercutio.

Mercutio is dead. Romeo feels it’s his fault, for not continuing to fight off Tybalt. Whether now a Capulet in marriage or not, regardless of his love for Juliet, Romeo is angered by his friend’s death and wants revenge.

If Tybalt had stayed away, Romeo might have calmed down, but Tybalt returns to finish the feud with Romeo. They fight and Rome0 slays Tybalt. Now a killer, he’ll either be put to death or banished from Verona; either way, by this single action, he’s lost the chance to be with Juliet.

And it all falls apart from there.


Your writing challenge – journal Romeo’s feelings right now. In particular, be sure to include:

  • what he cherishes most and fears losing
  • what he was hoping for in his future with Juliet
  • how he feels about the events that have just unfolded – his part in the death of Mercutio and the murder of Tybalt
  • what he fears may be the resulting consequence, since he is yet unaware what punishment he may face.

Writing Length – aim for 500 – 750 words.


When you have finished:

  1. Go to this Fan Fiction website and skim through some of the creative writing added there related to Romeo and Juliet. Create a new Blog Post and add in a link and description of the writing for any three written pieces there.
    Identify which of the three is your favourite and explain your reasoning.
  2. Read through some of the creative Romeo Journaling of
January 16

ELA A10 B7 Roles of Gender in Society – Topics to Consider

You’ll be doing some research on a topic that relates to the current roles our genders hold in society. The purpose of this is to pick something of interest to your personally and that may have an impact on your own future.

These topics range from older, ongoing topics to more recent issues that have come up through mass media and other influences. The topics themselves are categorized to be more related to Female, Male or Both genders.

If you have an idea for another topic to use for your project, let me know and I’ll confirm it is an appropriate topic to move forward with.


Both Genders – Issues of Conflict:

  • analysis of movies to look at how genders are commonly represented. Ex: Lethal Weapon tv show has mostly male cast – only 3 female characters, all secondary characters including the one detective’s wife who is a Lawyer, but mostly only represented inside her home, answering the door or in her kitchen.
  • Snapchat – look into the controversy of its use for Sexting amoung teens.
  • Analyse advertisements for similar products that are gender specific. Ex: Men’s body wash ads versus female body wash ads.
  • Teens are now being charged with creating and distributing child pornography for sending and sharing sexting images. Consider why these new applications of the law are necessary.
  • Female same sex relationships in media seem more accepted than male same sex relationships. Why?
  • Compare clothing sold for kids and the disparity between the gendered items. Ex: Boys shorts go down to almost the knee most often, while young girl’s shorts end mid-thigh. Is there a sexualization of children’s clothing that mostly targets young girls?
  • Compare treatment and media representations of male and female pro athletes. Ex: Bouchard pro women’s athlete asked to “spin around” after winning a major title game.
  • Compare dress uniform expectations for male vs female workers in restaurants. Ex: Males are often fully dressed with flat heeled shoes, while women are often asked to wear tight, low-cut, short skirt/dress outfits with high heels. Boston Pizza and Original Joes are examples of this. Complaints have been made by waitresses to Canada’s Human Rights Commission.

Female Gender Issues of Conflict:

  1. Women’s magazines target the age group younger than their own. Ex: Women’s Mags target teens, Teen Mags target Tweens, etc.
  2. In some countries, it is now required to include Warning Labels so consumers know the images have been edited or photoshopped.
  3. Look into what “violence against Women” is; it’s not just physical, but includes many other elements.
  4. Look into the difference in typical women’s clothing sizes from the past to now. Ex: The norm used to be size 14, now it’s size 10. There didn’t used to be such a thing as a size 0.
  5. Some stores have had PR issues after there was negative feedback about the types of items targetted to very young boys and girls. Ex Little bralettes with sexualized phrases on them, or boy’s shirts that say “Pimp” on them.
  6. The topic of Vocal Fry, the really low, gravely voice some women use in media. It possibly is considered a negative quality by future employers.
  7. Look up the contrast of female to male CEOs of Canadian or North American Companies. The representation may be as low as 4% – 4 out of 100 CEOs might be women. Why the vast disparity?
  8. Pressure on new moms to “bounce back” after a pregnancy. Consider samples of celebrity mom bloggers who look very similar to their pre-pregnancy bodies and what pressure that puts on every day new moms. Consider what is realistic vs represented as the expectation.
  9. Trends in high schools across Canada/US of young girls protesting school dress codes, such as a “go braless” movement.
  10. Analyse the treatment of women compared to men in a global sense – in other countries, how are women treated compared to their male counterparts. Ex: In some countries, women aren’t allowed to drive, have to be completely covered when in public, cannot be in the company of any male who is not their father or husband, can be stoned to death by a husband under suspicion of adultery, etc.
  11. Female Genital Mutilation (or Female Circumsicion). Why is this done, what does it involve, and what countries/cultures participate in it. What is the expectation related to this potential practice being done in Canada – is it allowed? What’s the reaction if caught?

Male Gender Issues of Conflict:

  1. Comparison of misogyny of the past to present. Example: Compare the treatment of women from entertainers like Andrew Dice Clay and Howard Stern compared to recent comments of Donald Trump regarding women.
  2. Do an analysis of the Stanford Rape Case, the young Olympic swimming hopeful who raped a girl and got a very light sentence. His father famously commented to the press that his son’s future was ruined over “20 minutes of action”.
  3. Analyze the issue of Rape Culture and represent some findings. Ex: Some Canadian University sports teams (hockey/football) have had instances of rape by team members and coaches/schools looked the other way for fear of losing funding and reputation loss.
  4. Canadian military – there is much reported recently about the high incidents of sexual assault and harassment against women in the military. Compare the rates to rates of the general public. Could compare in as well rates of reported/alleged assaults against female RCMP members.
  5. Rates of murder-suicide among men. Many incidents of this in recent years in Canada – men kill their kids, wives, and possibly others before killing themselves. What are the warning signs or what is contributing to this? Why is it predominantly men committing this?
  6. Roid Rage in young men. Many examples of pro athletes committing brutal assaults on female partners (ex: player beat up his girlfriend in an elevator & dragged her somewhere). Look into the effects of steroid use that may increase violent tendencies/inability to control emotions.
  7. Look into how some of the different cultures represented in Canada historically/culturally treat women. Ex Some cultures still believe in Honour Killings.
  8. Compare the acceptance of female to male mental health issues. Does it seem more accepted for women to admit mental health issues compared to young men? Is there a greater stigma attached for males? Are the rates higher or lower in comparison by gender?
  9. The “Boys Will be Boys” Excuse. There is the belief this phrase is out-dated and only plays up and reinforces some of the negatives of the boy/male stereotype – like boys have to be tough, boys can’t show emotion, boys are reckless and that’s okay/to be expected.
Category: ELA 20 | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 13

ELA A10 Jan 13/17 Watching Your Selected Documentary

You should naturally have a habit now of thinking of a text in stages of Before, During, and After. You’ll have to submit evidence that you used strategies for each step to help you make meaning and connections to the text you chose to study.

Some options of what you can review/analyse/write out to prepare yourself for viewing include:

Before Studying/Viewing the Documentary:

  • setting a purpose for why you’re going to view the film
  • reminding yourself of what the characteristics of a documentary are
  • consider the style you observed in watching The Cove and how they constructed their argument and their methods to persuade the viewers
  • Set certain questions for yourself that you hope are answered by the text
  • Look up some background information about the documentary you’ve chosen

During Studying/Viewing the Documentary: 

  • make jot notes of things that stand out to you as you watch the film
  • record the questions you find yourself asking as you’re watching that you may later look up the answers to
  • keep a list of elements of the film you’re critical of or find suspicious
  • monitor your own reactions, mentally and emotionally, to the storyline and images you view

After Studying/Viewing the Documentary:

  • write a personal reflection of how you feel/your thoughts immediately after viewing the film
  • write out questions you have, now that you’ve completed watching it
  • read reviews of the film to check if your reaction is similar to how others received it
  • Tweet comments/reflections out about the documentary
  • make a T-chart and list some of the things you wrote down During Viewing on the left and on the right side expand on why they stood out to you

To prepare for your final assignment, a presentation and informal talk, you’ll need to review and possible rewatch parts of the film for the following:


January 12

ELA A30 Jan 12/17 B16 Arriving in Canada Today

There are discussions online by Canadians who argue Canada should not support as many immigrants as they do and instead spend more money on First Nations needs or address our Homelessness problem.

What is it really like living as an immigrant in Canada today? Are the treatments and attitudes towards them improved over how they were treated in the last 50 years?

There are a few online resources that go along with this next section, exploring what it’s like being an immigrant today in our current society.

CBC Ideas Podcast: In Their Shoes

A Day in the Life of Acsana Fernando – what is it like to step inside an immigrant woman’s daily life activities?


Comparing an Audio Text to a Visual Text: does seeing change how you take in / make connections to a topic?


January 11

ELA 20 Ten Days Left of Class – here’s what’s planned

Hi 11s,

We currently have a cold weather day, so there were only 4 students here for class this morning. We may have other cold weather days and some of you will miss this coming Monday and Tuesday for the ski trip, but you’ll all still be responsible for completing the following work/assignment and being ready to present during the last two classes we have.

The last topic explored through literature for us is Gender Roles in Your Society/Future. Here are two video parodies of topics that fall under this subject. 

Here’s what’s planned:

The B7 Section work is in Blue.

The B7.1 Assignment work is in Green. 

  1. Wed Jan 12: planning/making up activities to complete that satisfy the curriculum indicators for this section.
    1. explain how this topic relates/contributes to you being “socially responsible”
    2. select some type of tasks to help you develop and analyse the two documentaries Before Viewing, During Viewing, and After Viewing
    3. figure out how you’re going to demonstrate
      1. that you were critically evaluating the ideas of the documentaries
      2. that you noticed the methods used in the videos to manipulate or persuade viewers
    4. identify and analyse how the two videos of the same topic were similar and different from each other
  2. Thurs Jan 13 P1: Viewing 45-50 minutes of Tough Guise (embedded below)
  3. Thurs Jan 13 P6: Viewing 45-50 minutes of Codes of Gender (embedded below)
  4. Fri Jan 13: complete your viewing Comprehend and Response activities that you selected Tuesday/Wednesday
    We’ll also discuss the upcoming Assignment – Introducing/Speaking on a Familiar Topic
  5. Mon Jan 16: (Ski Trip People Away) Researching selected topic 1 of 2
  6. Tues Jan 17: (Ski Trip People Away) Researching selected topic 2 of 2
  7. Wed Jan 18: Planning/Writing for Speaking Assignment 1 of 3
  8. Thurs Jan 19: Planning/Writing for Speaking Assignment 2 of 3
  9. Fri Jan 20 P1: Planning/Writing for Speaking Assignment 3 of 3 – practicing/finalizing
  10. Fri Jan 20 P6: Presentations of Speaking Assignment (6 people)
  11. Mon Jan 24: Presentations of Speaking Assignment (6 people)


Note: Make sure you’ve talked to me to choose an Exit Interview time. Your ELA 20 final exam is slotted in the schedule for Tuesday, but you can arrange to do the interview on another day so you don’t have to come to school that Tuesday.

Note: The last to submit any homework other than the final B7 section and speaking activity is Monday Jan 23.
Remember – all elements of the course are required to be completed in order to get the credit. 


Documentaries: These documentaries have been edited slightly to remove any images inappropriate for a classroom setting.

This video clip ends @ 23:00 (the documentary starts over again). At 23 minutes in, move on to the second video (below).

This video clip also ends part way through @ 17 mins in.


Choosing a Topic:

You will be selecting a topic related to our Gender Roles discussion to explore for your Prepared Talk. Below is a collection of Google Search buttons that covers a number of gender topics you can choose from or explore to get ideas for your Talk topic. You can access these Search Buttons at this link or by clicking on the image below. 



Category: ELA 20 | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 10

ELA 9 Starting Shakespeare – day 2 Getting to Know R & J

Studying any Shakespeare text, especially your first experience of this author’s work, is a challenging task. The texts were written 400 years ago in a different time, different culture, with different gender roles and a different context. For us, it isn’t that we try and are able to read the original or modern translation of the text on a first try; for us, it’s more important that we understand the storyline and the different connections we can make between the play and our own world and lives.

For that reason, you’re going to “get to know” Shakespeare and the play of Romeo and Juliet before we read it. Understanding the basics of plot and expectations of Shakespeare plays in advance will make reading through the play go much easier and our conversations can be of a deeper topic, like motivations of characters, development of conflicts, and more.

With a partner or on you own, do some online research and learn about each of the following elements of the writing/author listed below. You’re expected to write out by hand what information you find and collect from online, since handwriting leads to longer-lasting memories and understanding.

  1. Shakespeare:
    1. Why is he still so popular in modern times and today? How is he represented by our mass media?
    2. Why is he still taught in schools, when there are so many other great authors and texts that have been developed in the last 400 years?
    3. Are William’s stories original or copies of other people’s existing stories?
    4. Most significant/unique features of his writing?
    5. What is the format of a Shakespeare drama – a five act play?
    6. Was Shakespeare a single person? What evidence is there that he was multiple people?
  2. The play Romeo and Juliet
    1. What interesting facts or trivia can you find of this play?
    2. What types of modern retellings of the play are there? For example, are there movies that are based on this plot/story but altered a bit? What are they? Ex: Gnomeo and Juliet
    3. This play is a classic Elizabethan Tragedy Play – what are the characteristics of this?
  3. Characters of the Play – (you can make a concept map or chart for these responses)
    1. What two Feuding Families are there in the play?
    2. What characters are neutral – loyal to both sides of the family feud?
    3. Who are the main characters? Secondary characters?
    4. Are there any archetype or stock characters in this film? Identify a few.
    5. What makes a tragic hero? Which of these, Romeo and/or Juliet, are tragic heros?
  4. What themes exist in the play?
  5. What is the plot of the play? How do things develop, become more complicated, and then are resolved?
  6. Develop five questions you are left with now that you hope to have answered by the time we’ve performed and read the play.
January 9

ELA A10 B9 Challenges Society Has Faced – Documentary Sites

You’ll soon begin a project-based inquiry, focusing on developing your skills of questioning, critical thinking, and problem solving. For this activity, you will select a Documentary and study it for its codes and conventions, including such things as the source, any agenda the makers might have had, relevance or truthfulness of the information relayed, as well as any techniques employed to manipular the viewer.

Documentaries may be a genre of video text that you have less experience with,Image result for documentaries so you’ll first need to develop a fair understanding of what sets this type of film apart from other video texts, like movies. While a movie has the purpose of entertaining, documentaries have the purpose of convincing audiences of something. For that reason, a viewer needs to be aware of that agenda and monitor what they view with a critical eye.

Website Sources of Documentaries you could choose from:


Sample Documentary Titles you might be interested in:

  • The Cove – dolphin killing in Japan
  • Blackfish – on Netflix or I have a copy
  • White Like Me – racism and white privilege
  • Myths for Profit – exploiting notion of Canada as peacekeeper vs involved in arms trade
  • Supersize Me – man eats nothing but McDonalds food to see how it affects the body
  • My Life as a Gamer – gamers play/develop and donate their proceeds to Save the Children funds
  • Audrie and Daisy – two young hs girls both sexually assaulted by boys at their school / after math (Netflix)
  • Miss Representation – documentary explores the codes of female gender repeated through media
January 6

ELA 9, 2017 B7 Starting Shakespeare (day 1)

Fun, engaged, #activelearning class this morning in #ELA9! We started #Shakespeare and we dug around online with the topic of #languagedevelopment – since the text of any #TheBard plays are brim-full of new language. We just explored online – no handout to work through, but just sort of hovered on a topic or went online wherever the searches took us. So fortunate to have 1:1 #edtech #byod so each student was able to direct their own online discovery of this topic or go at their own pace.Image result for swagger meme

We covered:

  1. Word of the Year: Several different dictionary companies/sites have identified a single word to represent that year
    Word of the Year 2014 – culture (rape culture, culture shock, culture of fear
    Word of the Year 2015 – not actually a word but an emoji, for the first time
    The Word of the Year for 2016 from the different Dictionary sites are: Brexit, Surreal, and Post-Truth.
    So we discussed: a) what is a Word of the Year (in general) and b) why is there such a thing?
  2. Top 10 Words of the Year Lists: Several dictionaries also have narrowed down the top 10 important words of a year. Not all words are new, but possibly used in a new context or more often searched in that year as a response to an event of that year.
  3. Newly-Added/Suggested Words to Dictionary Sites: We next looked at the words these dictionary companies have recently accepted as new words to be added to their published dictionary book copies or online sites. This is where we had a lot of fun – there are a lot of mash-ups, or new word combinations to make a single word. One student asked “How lazy are people”, but it may be just the opposite since it takes a bit more effort to create something new as opposed to using what exists.
    Each student collected a list of their Top 20 new words. Some of our favourites are:

    1. Double double – Canadian slang for “two cream-two sugars”
    2. Autocowrong – when autocorrect changes a word to the wrong word
    3. Noice – extremely good, very nice
    4. Confrustion – frustrating confusion
    5. Bromaid – a male bridesmaid
    6. Bulletize – to format a summary of text into bullet points
    7. Craydar – ability to be aware of crazy people in the vicinity
    8. Siq – cool way to spell “sick”
    9. Trumpatized – traumatized by the idea of Trump as President
    10. Bae- before anyone else
    11. #PMHT – pardon my hashtag
    12. Architectophile – a person with a strong interest in architecture
    13. Edventure – an educational adventure
    14. Squirkle – a square with rounded edges
    15. Legitly – in a legitimate manner
  4. Slang – shorthand language. We skimmed through a slideshow of viral slang for 2016. These words are different as they may not be recognized formally by a dictionary, but are still popular enough or used enough to have a recognizable meaning.
    One example surprised us: FB/LB which people will often post on Instagram. It means “follow back/like back”.
  5. Next Comes: Famous Movie Quotes Translated to Text Language


It was a lively, engaged and concept-attainment sort of class! I’ll use this formula again!

December 12

ELA A30 B14 Short Story Texts – Canadian Landscape

This next section of the course specifically looks at one theme of CanLit through one genre: Canadian landscape and character relationships with the land explored through the genre of short stories.

You will soon have an assignment to develop a Canadian short story, so one of your purposes for reading is to identify techniques of the writers that you can play with to incorporate into your own writing.

The two texts we will study are linked below:

The Wedding Gift

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