There are a lot of cool books on the shelves of the bookcase at the back of the room. Most are separated to fit their best course or genre that they relate to, but it can be deceiving, since many overlap and fit a number of high school ELA courses.
To help you see what your options are and decide, I’ve created online shelves in GoodReads. At the link below, you can skim through and read summaries to every book on my shelf and get a sense of its topic, rather than judging by colour.
In your current section of ELA work, you will practice some listening skills by selecting a podcast related to a social issue and working through some active listening tasks. The podcast should be at least 25 minutes in length approximately and on a topic that relates to an issue either nationally or globally significant in our time.
Note: Even though this is a World Literature course and shouldn’t have any Canadian content, the topics of these Canadian podcasts are relevant beyond Canada’s borders so they are acceptable topics to focus on.
Double Note: For anything longer than 30 minutes, you can listen to the 1st 25 minutes of your podcast and jump to listen to the last 5. Don’t let length interrupt choosing a topic you’re interested in.
The following have been screened for you and would be acceptable choices.
The Woman Behind a Secret Grey’s Anatomy Experiment. 33 mins In the 80s when HIV was epidemic, people believed it was a disease only homosexuals could be infected with and die, until heterosexual young people, young women included, became infected. They told their stories so people would understand it could infect anyone.
We’re taking a shorter look at the ancient civilizations of Japan/China and Incas/Mayans/Aztecs. You’ll be able to decide which of these areas you want to explore and learn more about personally.
To understand a bit of the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs, you’ll watch this documentary. It explores how these civilizations were able to develop such skill and precision in things like understanding the solar calender and season changes to understanding how to grow vegetation on floating islands rather than rely on soil for it.
We have the cool opportunity to have both Social and ELA together as a group and the timing works perfectly to begin studying Narratives and Mythology just as we are studying Greece and Rome, where many of the most popular myths stories originated.
In looking at ancient civilization mythology, it’s interesting to recognize how many patterns exist in the myth stories, despite the fact that the cultures that developed them have such different beliefs, values, and experiences from the far corners of the globe.
Consider this – almost every civilization has a “Flood Myth” story. How can that be?
To start our study of ancient civilizations, we begin with two that were very close to each other geographically. Because they were so close, you might assume they were similar in many ways, but were they really?
You’ll study the two civilizations for certain elements of their societies and then develop a project to develop to demonstrate your understanding and judgment of them. Was one civilization superior to the other?
Remember there are a lot of great videos/documentaries to use for gathering your information.
21st Century Skills Development: You may uncover a great resource that you want to share with the group. We will compile a list of resources together in a shared Google Doc linked here. It is “shared” with you via your gmail accounts, so make sure you’re logged in to access it.
Which civilization will come out as the most successful one?
At the end of your A6 section is a viewing activity. I’ll add another option, so you can decide which you want to watch.
A. Club Native: This documentary is filmed by a woman from the Mohawk reserve that was involved in the Oka Crisis. She documents the lives of four women from her community and reflects on what it’s like to be a woman in the Mohawk nation. For example, they’re not allowed to date White men or marry them and if they do they are expected to leave the community.
That documentary is in Section A6 of the Moodle course if you choose it.
You also have instructions for Before, During, and After viewing for that documentary.
B. An alternative visual to watch is a graphic art film that was released last year by artist Gord Downie from The Tragically Hip. He heard of the story of Chanie Wenjack from 50 years ago, a boy who was taken from his family and sent to a school to train him to be white. Chanie escaped and tried walking the train tracks to find his way home, but ended up dying on the side of the railway days later from the cold.
This film has no dialogue or words, only the song lyrics to go along with the images.
It is also a challenge at practicing your perception and use of inference – you have to interpret events and read between the lines to make sense of the events and sequence of them.
That documentary is also in Section A6 of Moodle, but here (below) as well. The documentary is the first 40 minutes of the following film.
It’s been many years since I was able to make a celebration video for the Sr Girls Basketball team who won Gold in the 1A Provincial game a few years ago. We watched it again recently and it brought back a lot of memories. Here it is again for those who were a part of it.
The A30 course is a #CanLit course – Canadian Literature.
There’s a discussion that can be had regarding what literature should be claimed as Canadian. Some authors are born and raised in other countries and only become Canadian citizens later in life, in their 50s even, and if they publish work at that point it’s considered Canadian Literature.
Some question whether CanLit shouldn’t be more about Canada – the plot happens somewhere in Canada, it reflects Canadian culture, or recounts a typical Canadian experience. Take Life of Pi, for example. Of the whole story, Canada is mentioned near the beginning because an East Indian family is selling their zoo and accompanying it and moving to Canada. It ends with a narrator who’s living in Toronto. That’s all. The rest of the story is about Indian culture, religion, customs, and happens at sea and overseas. It is still Canadian Literature, though.
So.. with that in mind, there are a lot of great titles to select from.
Some are fiction.
Others are non-fiction.
Here’s a GoodReads link to my ELA A30 shelf – on it you can skim through the summaries of the books I have for you to select from. If there’s another title you’re interested in reading, talk to me about it and it could be your selection if appropriate.
The main focus of this reading activity is to enjoy the book. The second focus of your reading activity is to be an objective reader and pay attention to the writing style of your chosen text – do you like the way they use language, how they formatted the book, the way they’ve developed characters, how they’ve established a bias for the reader to follow along with, and other elements. Track this so you can identify 3-4 examples of specific elements of the author’s style of writing that you’ll later develop an essay on.
You’re using a variety of resources of your choice online to find answers to several questions. It will help you establish a basic understanding of some of the important elements of studying civilizations before we move on in the course. Elements like how eras of time are labeled as B.C. or A.D. or how old the earth is compared to how old humankind is. Below are a few helpful video resources you can watch to help supplement your own research.
One of the formal writing assignments in the B30 course is to write a Compare/Contrast Essay. You have previously written some Analytical Essays, some Persuasive or Editorial Essays, and a Critical Analysis Essay after reading your novel choice in ELA A30.
For this assignment, the two texts you’ll compare are a short story and film. The focus of your essay will be to compare the theme of identity explored between both texts.
YouTube Video: Oral reading of the essay (someone with an English accent like the author would have had)
Text #2 Movie: The Interpreter (2 hrs 8 mins)
The Interpreter Imbd website information with character names Note: I’ve purchased this film on YouTube. If you want to watch it outside of class time at school, I can arrange to sign you into the ELA YouTube Account to watch it.
Additional Text Options: There are several other films that focus on the theme of identity. If you have an idea for another film that will pair well with the Orwell essay, talk to me about it.
Optional Videos I can provide: click links to view trailers The Power of One (movie) Hotel Rwanda (movie) Cinderella Man (movie) Million Dollar Baby (movie)