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)
Everyone’s picked a new novel they’re going to read on their own, but good readers think about the writing as they progress through a book. It’s important to consider certain questions at the beginning of a book; it helps establish a deeper understanding of the complex plot the author developed and helps you make connections to the rest of the text as you read along.
After you’ve read enough of the beginning of your book (maybe 20 – 40 pages), pause a moment to consider some of the following prompts. You don’t have to answer all of them and shouldn’t respond with a Question-Answer format. Just journal your thoughts as they come together.
Prompts to consider from the beginning development of your book:
The setting is a super important part of a book’s beginning. Whether a series of events happens in the past, the present or the future, the possible outcomes depend on when in time the events happen. Where it is happening, that you understand the surroundings, the locations the main character goes back and forth from, and where they are in relation to others around them, these are also all parts of the setting to consider. Some authors may develop this really clearly at the beginning while others maybe don’t pay enough attention to it. How is the development of setting affecting the way you are reacting to the book?
Main character development – We usually have to be able to relate to a character if we want to follow them along through their experiences. Even if they have very different qualities than you, you often can find similarities with them from the ideas they have, the way they treat people, the hopes they have, their background etc. How are you connecting with your novel’s main character?
What about the author’s style of writing do you like, so far?Or what about it do you not like, so far? It can be how they use dialogue. It can be whether personality shows through in descriptions of how characters act around others. It can be how they divide the chapters; some of the most popular books have chapters that end with a bang and entice readers to keep reading! Some authors may use sentences that are too long. Others may use some that are too choppy.
Establishing the problem: Every story is about a character in a situation they don’t want to be in. The rest of the story is about their attempt to solve their situation and the distractions that get in their way. If an author develops the beginning of a book for too long, though, without identifying the problem, a reader may lose interest and feel the pace is dragging. An author may fail to create a believable problem, oversell the danger and not deliver with an exciting story to follow. With what you’ve read so far, a) are you aware of the conflict the main character wants to solve and b) is it an interesting problem/does it make for a good story in your opinion?