November 5

ELA A30 Section A5 Being Native in Canada

These are the web resources to support the work in this section.

Moodle Pages Intro: 

Book Chapter: “The Oka Crisis” Will Ferguson (section pgs 2-4)

  • Oral recording to follow along with while reading the chapter – embedded player below (Waldner 2019)
    You can expand this player and download the audio, if it suits you better.


(Optional Viewing: Waneek Horn-Miller was a teenager within the standoff. She was stabbed by a Canadian soldier and later went on to become a Canadian Olympian. )

Poem #1: “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone” Buffy St. Marie (section pgs 4-7)

  • Comparative text: “Standing Rock” song re: NoDAPL pipeline standoff

Poem #2: “The Devil’s Language” Marilyn Dumont (section pgs 8-14)

    • Image Collage: the writer includes many specific references related to the methods and topics the Indigenous students were taught in the Residential Schools, including many forms of formal English speaking and writing, books about caucasian culture, Catholic beliefs, and others. This collage may help you understand the English culture was the focus of these schools.  Note:You can click to enlarge this poster.

After viewing Representation Question in your handout: Which image with the different arrangement of words from the poem (below) is the best representation of the author’s tone, in your opinion?
Note:You can click to enlarge this poster.


Documentary Viewing – Choice of films to watch

    • Club Native (Ask me for the DVD or a private link to watch online)


    • The Oka Legacy documentary (one young woman’s first-hand experience within the barricades)


October 23

ELA A30 Inquiry Report or Research Paper Essay Planning

You’re well-practiced at writing Literary Analytical types of essays, but maybe less sure about writing a regular essay or report. Here’s an instructional video that walks you through things to consider in your planning and organization stage, as well as looks at the body paragraph and a potential sentence plan for them.

Instructional Video: How to organize your report essay.

Here’s a screenshot of a potential outline for your body paragraphs: (image)

Here’s a rough outline for how you could organize your sentences in a report body paragraph. Remember to include transitions for smooth writing.

October 21

ELA A30 Critical Analysis Essay – While you Read

The second essay you’ll write for your Canadian Lit course is one that reviews the good and bad of the author’s writing in the novel you chose. While you read, it is helpful to look for examples that you could take note of and use while developing your essay.

As you read, keep a running list of what you like or don’t like about their writing, including things like:

  • There is a list of characteristics to consider for Fiction reading
  • And another list of characteristics specific to Non-fiction reading (true stories)


For Fiction Texts:Image result for author writing

  • their development of characters – Are they believable characters or have a well-developed background? Are the characters (especially main one) slowly developed as the story moves on or does the author clump details of a character together at once?
  • the pace of the writing – do some things happen too slow or too fast? Some events that build in excitement likely should speed up in pace, but some authors develop them too slowly, which can kill the vibe of the moment.
  • what about language choice? Do they use too many unfamiliar words making it challenging to follow along with the idea of the story? Does their use of bigger vocabular seem awkwardly used, like the words don’t fit smoothly? Is the language written below the reading level you expected and is dull to read because of the word selections?
  • Length of chapters: Are the chapters too long to maintain an interest in what’s happening? Is there a natural and appropriate break developed between chapter events, or does that author stop chapters at times that are inconvenient for you as a reader?
  • Sentence writing complexity: Are the sentences comfortable to read or just at the right level of challenge for you as a reader, or are they too simple and short? Or could they be overly wordy and long, making it challenging to understand the writing.
  • Descriptive writing: Does the author do a good job of developing description in the writing, creating images for you to imagine as you read, or do they just “tell” a lot in their writing. Is the manner of their descriptive writing effective, or is it done poorly and falls below what you’d judge as “good writing”?
  • The Storyline: Have they created an interesting story? One that you’re drawn into and compelled to follow along with? Have they developed in you the reader an interest in the outcome of the story?
  • Supporting characters: Who else for characters has the author developed for the storyline? Are there too many characters introduced too close together so that it makes it challenging as the reader to keep people separated in your mind? Do they include too complex of a cast of characters that it’s hard to keep everyone straight, what their relationships are too each other?
  • Setting: How does the author use the location and span or placement of time to help support the plot elements in the story? Do things happen over the right amount of time or are they squished into too short a time period/drawn out into too long of one? Does the location support the plot or interfere with it?
  • Point of view: The author will have told the story from the perspective of a voice – was that voice in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd perspective (limited or omniscient)? Sometimes a 1st person point of view narrative can be limiting, so maybe was’nt the best choice or was challenging to accept as the reader. Did your author’s selection and development of the point of view work well or poorly in the reading, according to you?
  • Rising Action/Complications: How did the author continue to develop tension throughout the book? Did they drop it in occasionally and clumsily, or was it well developed and grew in a way that drew you in as the reader?
  • Climax: Did the tension leading to the climax moment in the book support that pivotal moment or did the climax happen sort of awkwardly, jumping ahead in intensity without being properly developed for the reader?

For Non-fiction Texts: 

  • Word choice throughout the writing: by their personal choices, do they make it interesting and engaging for a reader, regardless of the complexity of the topic?
  • Inclusion of anecdotal stories (personal stories): are they developed clearly enough? Does the author tell you more than is needed or do they miss some key parts of a personal story?
  • Pace of the information: Does the author write too much about something that isn’t quite interesting, making the pace seem to drag on? Or do they give equal time to all topics, when they could benefit from expanding on some topics in the non-fiction that are more interesting to the reader?
  • Sentence variety and mechanics: What kinds of sentence variety do you notice in the writing? Do they stick to basic and simple sentence formations, or is it clear they play with the sentence variety, using repetition, parallelism or other techniques for personal style?
  • Method and amount of referencing included: Often times, non-fiction texts will include reference to several types of other sources, to help support the subject covered, like published journals, personal interviews, news reports, or statistics. Does your author include these smoothly and use the right amount? Or does their inclusion of their references and sources slow and bog down the reading, making it uninteresting for you the reader?
  • Writing suits target audience: It is often clear what target audience an author is writing to. If their subject matter is more serious, they’re likely writing to a more-adult audience. With the words they choose, the complexity of sentences and paragraph/chapter lengths developed, is it clear they’ve written to suit the reading and interest level of their target audience, or have they developed something too childish or mature to match the audience they’re likely targeting?
  • Agenda or bias that may be distracting: Some non-fiction texts are written with a particular agenda on the part of the author. They may want people to become more supportive or open-minded of a topic, so they may write with the goal of convincing the reader of a perspective; this may be distracting if you’re someone who can’t believe as they do.
  • Depth the author delves into the topic: Some non-fiction books may be written by a celebrity of someone with assumed knowledge on a topic, but their actual coverage of that topic in the writing may be quite superficial. Is the topic covered in enough detail to be interesting or is it only generally and vaguely discussed? Or you may find the opposite, that their coverage of a topic may be more academic or detailed than is appropriate for a general audience.
September 18

ELA A30 Section A3 Links/Resources

Section A3 begins looking back at the darker parts of Canadian history that may make some proud Canadians uncomfortable to read and learn about. There are some scandals in our past. We have evolved as a nation and learned from past mistakes, but it is important that we face some of those mistakes. This section attempts to explore that process.


Before Reading/Viewing:

Activity B Links:

During Reading/Viewing:

    • Viewing Heritage Minutes (pg 4) video embedded







Before Reading the Play (pg 8)

    • Viewing: YouTube video of Canadian Member of Parliament discussing the Komagata Maru in the House of Commons (embedded)

    • Link to read the play “The Komagata Maru Incident” online
    • For Interest Sake (extention): A professional hockey player who won a Stanley Cup in Canada worked for Immigration Canada and saw first hand the condition of the people who were not allowed to leave the boat, in 1914. Read about his perspective in this article.


Additional images to consider:

Below is a certificate of a Head Tax paid for entry into Canada. To restrict the number of what was considered undesirable immigrants coming into Canada, prices were established, making entry more difficult.

For the following chart, you can see the volume and speed of immigration to Canada. Spikes occurred while there was conflict or wars in other countries, like World War I and slowed considerably during other global eras, like The Great Depression in the 30s & 40s.


September 10

ELA A30 A2 The Land or the People?

At some point, you feel Canadian. Whether you were born in Canada or immigrated here, you eventually develop a sense of what it feels like to be Canadian. For high school students, it can be challenging if you haven’t experienced other countries or really much of your own country. It can be complicated trying to put your finger on where it came from, your sense of Canadian-ness, but it’s there.

Two well-known Canadians, relevant to contributing to Canadian nationality and culture, both have considered this question and put their finger on different sources.

One feels their sense of nationality has come from their community, their cultural roots from an immigrant source. The other feels his sense of belonging in Canada is rooted in the land, the harsh northern land he grew up on.

There is a video for each writer below to get a sense of who they are. Each of their messages in these videos is connected to their sense of belong in Canada.



October 30

ELA MLA Citation Guide & Links

If you pursue post-secondary education, the odds are you’ll have to develop a piece of writing that requires in-text citations and a Works Cited page. Here are some resources to use as a guide for that:

In-text citation guide:

  • author and page #
  • anonymous authors
  • text from an anthology or collection
  • multiple authors
  • internet sources

Citing non-print or sources from the Internet

With more and more scholarly work being posted on the Internet, you may have to cite research you have completed in virtual environments. While many sources on the Internet should not be used for scholarly work (reference the OWL’s Evaluating Sources of Information resource), some Web sources are perfectly acceptable for research. When creating in-text citations for electronic, film, or Internet sources, remember that your citation must reference the source in your Works Cited.

Sometimes writers are confused with how to craft parenthetical citations for electronic sources because of the absence of page numbers, but often, these sorts of entries do not require a page number in the parenthetical citation. For electronic and Internet sources, follow the following guidelines:

  • Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry that corresponds to the citation (e.g. author name, article name, website name, film name).
  • You do not need to give paragraph numbers or page numbers based on your Web browser’s print preview function.
  • Unless you must list the Web site name in the signal phrase in order to get the reader to the appropriate entry, do not include URLs in-text. Only provide partial URLs such as when the name of the site includes, for example, a domain name, like or as opposed to writing out or

Works Cited page – basic guidelines

Basic rules

  • Begin your Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your research paper. It should have the same one-inch margins and last name, page number header as the rest of your paper.
  • Label the page Works Cited (do not italicize the words Works Cited or put them in quotation marks) and center the words Works Cited at the top of the page.
  • Double space all citations, but do not skip spaces between entries.
  • Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indent.
  • List page numbers of sources efficiently, when needed. If you refer to a journal article that appeared on pages 225 through 250, list the page numbers on your Works Cited page as 225-250. Note that MLA style uses a hyphen in a span of pages.
  • If you’re citing an article or a publication that was originally issued in print form but that you retrieved from an online database, you should type the online database name in italics. You do not need to provide subscription information in addition to the database name.

Easybib Citation Maker: this website can be helpful for easily making your Works Cited page.


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.