October 12

Social 10: 05 Making Decisions in a Parliamentary Democracy

Links to support the topics in the 05 section. This section covers the safeguards that work together in our Parliamentary system to ensure no one abuses power and it is held accountable.


June 25

What’s on my bookshelf? Check online to see!

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.

Curious about a book? Ask me about it!

GoodReads Shelves Ms Waldner

You’ll see on the left of the page a number of Shelves – click through them to skim books that apply and are potential choices within your class.


May 29

ELA B30 Podcast Listening Activity – List of Options

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.

Image result for podcastsNote: 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.

  1. Why are so many young Canadians homeless and what should be done about it? 39 mins
  2. Vice Reporter says RCMP’s demands for his notes puts journalism at risk. 26 mins
  3. In a safe, subsidized apartment, this 21 year old is beginning to imagine his future. Born to a drug-addicted prostitute in Prince Albert, a 12 year old lives on the streets and survives. 27 mins Taken
  4. The elephant in the room: women with medically fragile kids that need daily medical care to stay alive. 26 mins
  5. Ijeoma Olvo urges us to have better conversations about race. 44 mins
  6. Why Ing Wong-Ward “won’t” choose medically assisted death. 25 mins
  7. Why a couple married 73 years chose doctor-assisted death together. 24 mins Taken
  8. Escaping “the man box” – how parents raising sons are rethinking masculinity. 23 mins Taken
  9. We can’t cower to intimidation: Jewish community in Germany reacts to growing alt-right party support and rising anti-semitism. 23 mins
  10. The War at Home: documentary looks at Canada’s failure to help women flee partner violence. 24 mins Taken
  11. Belle: Counselling sessions with a woman suffering from post-partum depression and a woman struggling with an eating disorder. Samples of improvements because of counseling.  25 mins Taken
  12. Violent misogyny found in “incel” (involuntary celibacy) is a form of terrorism, says author. (Relates to the man who drove a van over Toronto sidewalks killing several people.) 25 mins
  13. Is India’s gender imbalance to blame for the rise in violence against women? (There are 37 million more males than females in India) 24 mins Taken
  14. Humboldt Broncos player’s organ donation prompts call for stronger protocol around consent. 23 mins Taken
  15. How bad is Canada’s food waste problem? Among the world’s worst, report finds. 23 mins Taken

International Podcasts: 

  1. Discussion on what “home” means to homeless people. 44 mins
  2. Prenatal blood testing changed modern medicine, particularly in diagnosing Down Syndrome babies and possibly deciding to end those pregnancies. 30 mins
  3. Climate change denial is similar to the controversy that happened decades ago when evolution was first taught as fact in schools. The trend in denying science. 39 mins Taken
  4. A look into the interesting facts on the development of a teenage brain; it’s like a sports car. 35 mins Juvenille offenders in the US are sentenced to mandatory sentences, like life of even the death penalty. Science proves, though, teenage brains function differently, so this podcast follows the efforts of lawyers to use that science to reduce the sentences for youth found guilty of murder, so they won’t be killed or live their lives in prison. Taken
  5. Reality tv shows are popular, but fabricated reality. The United Nations attempted to use this type of reality show to influence citizens of Somalia to adapt their views on democracy and freedom. 50 mins
  6. 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.
  7. Living in between gender categories. Meet someone who lives part of their life as a woman and other parts of their life as a man. 48 mins Taken
  8. Flipping the script – police are trying to reduce radicalization of young people in Denmark by showing love and compassion. 60 mins
  9. Working for Doctors Without Borders at a massive refugee camp in Somolia. What is it really like? 30 mins
  10. How friendships and quiet conversation transformed a former white nationalist. 52 mins
  11.  Conversation on the soul in depression. 51 mins
  12. Living in a Syrian refugee camp in Greece – what stories of hope and charity can be found in a place like that? 79 mins (listen to parts)


May 29

Social 9 Exploring the Ancient Meso-American Civilizations

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.

Take notes as you watch, as usual.


May 4

ELA 9: Exploring Mythology

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?

PPT Patterns in Mythology – Source SAUSD Site

April 9

Social 9 Mesopotamia vs Egypt – Who Wore it Better?

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?

  1. Remember there are a lot of great videos/documentaries to use for gathering your informationImage result for who wore it better meme mesopotamia vs egypt
  2. 05 Mesopotamia vs Egypt Study PDF Handout
  3. 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?

Image result for civilization smackdown








Getting Started:


March 29

ELA A30 A6 Alternate Viewing Activity: The Secret Path

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.

February 28

ELA A30: Canadian Literature Titles to Choose From

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.

  1. Some are fiction.
  2. 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.