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.


June 8

ELA B10 Starting Macbeth – the Scottish play!

To begin our look at Macbeth, we considered the possible influences for our choices:

  1. Fault: we make our own decisions, exert free will, so we alone are responsible for successes or failures
  2. Fate: timing of events/sequencing can be all it takes to set up a circumstance that leads to our downfall – could it be just coincidence or destiny that leads us to success or failure?
  3. Influence: people that surround us has differing levels of influence on us. Those who are more persuasive can be quite impacting, so could it be less our success/failure and more someone else’s at times?

To start the play, it’s helpful to have a basic overview of what the play is about and who the players are. This summary cartoon does a great job of that. Watch up to about six minutes in. That leaves the ending/tragedies that unfold still to be discovered as we read/perform the play.



There’s also the continued conspiracy theory that Shakespeare isn’t the sole author of all he’s credited for writing. An interesting film/documentary was made looking into that possibility.


April 6

ELAB10 Pre-Reading Inquiry – The Dirty 30s

You’re about to read a novella (short novel) set in the Dirty 30s of America. To understand the relationships and context of the story’s plot, you’ll need to learn a bit about that era of history.

Do some online digging and find out a few things about each of the following:

  1. America in the Dirty 30s – The Great Depression
  2. The Dustbowl
  3. Migrant Workers
  4. Unemployment Rates
  5. Why Men Left their Families
  6. Riding the Rails (traveling by train)
  7. Role differences of men and women
  8. What happened to children during the Depression
  9. Look up Photography of The Dirty Thirties and skim through them

Once you’ve learned about these things, you’re ready to read the novel.

You can also read the summary of or watch at home the film Cinderella Man. It’s set in a similar time and includes many of these characteristics of the time.


March 31

ELAB10 Equality – Responsibility to Others in the World

We’ve recently finished studying events in history where culture groups were in need of protection from persecution. It’s a pretty heavy, but important, topic!

In our discussions yesterday we made comparisons of more recent world events, after the Travel Ban (#1) was enacted in America. The reactions from people across the USA were amazing to see; the positive reactions were amazing. The negative ones, discouraging.

I said I’d collect some of the examples so you can see what happened.


March 22

2017: Grade 10 Introductions to German Penpals

Hi there from far away! Below are the Introductions the Canadian students have made to share with our new German friends. We’re really looking forward to whatever we each gain from this exchange of cultures and ideas!


Exciting times for #ELAB10 students!! We’ve got new #penpals and are just starting our first writing post directed to them. Our pals are from #Germany and are in gr9, which we think is actually equal to our gr10. We’ve created introductions to send to them and their teacher said they’re going to look through them and “call dibs” to pick who they’ll pair up with. The German students will be writing in English, but it’s not their first language, so each #Canadian student will have 2 partners (and one with 3). Now… what to write them!? They’ll each initiate a conversation topic every two weeks – one started by a Canadian student about one of our recent #ELA topics they want to share/hear feedback on and one topic initiated by a #Germanstudent for the same exchange of ideas. We’re excited to try this out! We’ll be using our #elablogs and the key thing that was brought up today was they’ll have a real audience! #realworldlearning #culturalexchange #realtopics #openminded #Saskteacher

A post shared by Marcy Waldner (@marcywaldner) on


Beside each name if their Introduction PDF.
Below each name is their first Post/Letter written to you! Good luck getting started!

Bella (Isabella) Bella – About Me

First Blog Post to You: http://bellat2015.edublogs.org/2017/03/21/letters-to-a-pal-week-1/


Brooke Brooke – About Me

First Blog Post to You: http://villib2015.edublogs.org/2017/03/22/dear-pen-pal/


Carson Carson – About Me

First Blog Post to You: http://carsong2015.edublogs.org/2017/03/21/first-wright-to-my-pen-pal/


Jenna Jenna – About Me

First Blog Post to You: http://jenna2015r.edublogs.org/2017/03/22/letter-to-a-pal-week-one/


Leah Leah – About Me

First Blog Post to You: http://leahl2015.edublogs.org/2017/03/21/letter-to-a-pal-week-1/


Mackenzie Mackenzie – About Me

First Blog Post to You: http://becky2015b.edublogs.org/2017/03/21/letter-to-a-pal-week-1/


Nate Nate – About Me

First Blog Post to You: http://nate2015p.edublogs.org/2017/03/21/127/


Trystan Trystan – About Me

First Blog Post to You: (Written by a guest since Trystan is going to be away for a week)

We’re excited to hear from you!!
Image result for excited gif




February 7

ELA B10: Feb 7/17 Exposure to Sketchnoting

You’re soon going to listen to an interesting podcast that looks at the scientific background of “Race”; it explores the question of whether race actually exists, beyond the Human Race.

Your task, while listening to that podcast, will be to follow along and sketchnote your understanding of the audio. You likely haven’t tried creating a sketchnote visual before, though, so you’ll need to understand what it’s about and how to use the symbols best to your advantage.

The number one thing to understand, though, is that this is low risk – there’s no “right” or “wrong” in trying this. You’re going to give something new a try and see how it suits you and your style of learning.

For some exposure to sketchnoting, then, there are a few YouTube tutorials you can use to learn a bit about it and the technique.



January 31

ELA B10 Jan 31/17 Equality – Do we have a fair and equal society?

Your B10 course will be much like your ELA A10 course, but the two halves will focus on different themes. They’ll study literature exploring:

  1. Equality

  2. Decisions

To start your Equality unit, you’ll watch a movie about a young boy who earns a football scholarship to a private, ivy league school. (Ivy league would mean it’s a school rich and prominent people send their kids to so they can be prepared to go on to ivy league universities, like Stanford, Princeton, and Harvard. These are some of the most prestigious colleges in America and many years ago, they were mostly for White students only.)

While you’re watching the film, track some of your ideas, personal responses, and predictions in the linked Google Doc. We’ll review the comments you’ve left after watching and use them to start our discussions.

Google Doc Active Viewing Document Link 




Scan the QR Code to access the open Google Doc for During Viewing Comments.



June 20

ELA B10 June 20/16 Sample Obituaries for your Obit Writing

You know you’re tasked with writing an Obituary celebrating a character’s life from the play Macbeth. To get an idea of what this type/form of writing is like, here is a website with a collection of unique Obituaries. Read them to get a sense of:

  • tone
  • how each celebrates the deceased in some way
  • quirky elements – the uniqueness of each is mentioned
  • loss
  • one sample tries to find meaning in a tragic loss of a son to suicide – it’s worth skimming for ideas (tragic loss of many in Macbeth)

Here’s the link to the web page. 


Sample Obituary Writeups - website

June 9

June 9/16 ELA B10 Fault or Fate – Introduction Discussion

We’re about to start studying a famous Shakespeare play called Macbeth. It’s known for being one of the bloodiest of his tragedy plays. But this isn’t a 400 year old story with no relevance to today – it has every relevance. Many of the popular shows in media in the last handful of years follow a type of formula for anti-hero protagonists in tragic circumstances.

The video examples below are evidence of the ultimate question that surrounds these types of plot lines: is it the character’s fault or fate?

Breaking Bad – Walter arrives to rescue Jesse from relapsing in his drug addiction and, while there, an event happens. Is Walter guilty of the results of the scene or was he a victim of cruel fate and poor timing?


The Path – A story of a cult-like community whose leader is away receiving the rest of the messages from God that will direct their future path. Another young leader, Cal,  knows the truth, though, that the leader is in a South American hospital dying, and Cal, believing himself to be the next chosen leader, is trying to direct fate so that he’ll lead on. Confronted by someone else who knows the truth of the dying leader, and recent circumstances having literally put a broken vase in Cal’s hand, he reacts in a moment and kills another.

Without fate setting up the circumstances and timing of this event, there would have been no murder. Again, is it fault or fate?