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)

 

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February 6

ELA B30: Compare/Contrast Essay Writing

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.

Some resources for each are given below:

Text #1 Essay: “Shooting an Elephant”
A1.1 Shooting An Elephant owell essay-1mhdr0g  PDF Copy of text

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)

Planning the Writing Assignment

Organizing a Compare/Contrast Essay – outline
This website resource includes a helpful method of planning for this type of writing. It offers a sample comparison topic, focusing on whether cats or dogs are better pets.

A1.1 Organizer WritingaCompareContrastEssay-1k5cckj PDF Copy

 

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April 27

ELA B30 Ap 27/17 Watching Hamlet – film/tv/live choices

We’re reading and performing the play Hamlet together as a class, and many of you are doing a wonderful job of injecting some personality and character into your performances of your roles, versus simply reading out lines. It’s important, too, to watch it performed by actors who have studied it and have their own interpretations of how the characters would behave.

Remember, Hamlet is meant to be viewed as a live performance.

There are several options below for watching a multimedia version of Hamlet. Things to consider in making your choice:

  1. They are of different lengths, so if you choose one that’s longer, you may be committing to finishing viewing it at home on your own personal time. It also might be that you would enjoy the longer one more, so it’s worth that extra commitment to you.
  2. The play was intended to be performed live. Watching the live performance may seem more authentic to how it would have been originally received in Shakespeare’s time. And Benedict Cumberbatch is a pretty hot looking Hamlet. 🙂
  3. You may prefer one actor over another. Kenneth Branagh and Mel Gibson are both well known for their portrayals of Hamlet, though one happens in a more recent modern setting and the other happens in a more medieval castle type setting. Lots will go into your choice.Image result for benedict cumberbatch hamlet

Enjoy, though! This should only reinforce what we’ve already been reading together of the play.

And note: I’m encouraging you to watch in your video choice only as far as we have currently read. If you watch beyond that, you’ll still follow along with us in our performance of the play in class.

Performed January 2017Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet, performed on stage in front of live audience but with moving cameras. This is a great production to watch, because you can hear the audience laugh during the comedy lines. It was recorded and broadcast to Movie Theaters across the UK.

 

 

 Image result for hamlet 2009
Hamlet (2009)- David Tennent as lead.Image result for hamlet 1990 hamlet
Hamlet (1990 film) – Mel Gibson as Hamlet
Category: ELA B30 | LEAVE A COMMENT
April 13

ELA B30 Studying Hamlet – the most popular of Shakespeare’s plays

Studying any Shakespeare text is a challenging task. The texts were written 400 years ago in a different time, different culture, with different gender roles and a different context. For us, it isn’t that we try and are able to read the original or modern translation of the text on a first try; for us, it’s more important that we understand the storyline and the different connections we can make between the play and our own world and lives.

For that reason, you’re going to “get to know” Shakespeare and the play of Hamlet before we read it. Understanding the basics of plot and expectations of Shakespeare plays in advance will make reading through the play go much easier and our conversations can be of a deeper topic, like motivations of characters, development of conflicts, and more.

 

With a partner or on you own, do some online research and learn about each of the following elements of the writing/author listed below. You’re expected to write out by hand what information you find and collect from online, since handwriting leads to longer-lasting memories and understanding.

  1. Shakespeare:
    1. Why is he still so popular in modern times and today? How is he represented by our mass media?
    2. Why is he still taught in schools, when there are so many other great authors and texts that have been developed in the last 400 years?
    3. Are William’s stories original or copies of other people’s existing stories?
    4. Most significant/unique features of his writing?
    5. What is the format of a Shakespeare drama – a five act play?
    6. Was Shakespeare a single person? What evidence is there that he was multiple people?
    7. Even in the tragedy plays, like Hamlet, there is always a comedy element. What is the purpose for this?
    8. What was believed at the time, 400 years ago, of ghosts and their use in plays? What did they represent?
  2. The play Hamlet
    1. What interesting facts or trivia can you find of this play?
    2. What types of modern retellings of the play are there? For example, are there movies that are based on this plot/story but altered a bit? What are they? Ex: The Lion King
    3. This play is a classic Elizabethan Tragedy Play – what are the characteristics of this?
  3. Characters of the Play – (you can make a concept map or chart for these responses)
    1. What two family groups are there in the play?
    2. What characters are neutral – loyal to both sides of the family feud?
    3. Who are the main characters? Secondary characters?
    4. Are there any archetype or stock characters in this film? Identify a few.
    5. What makes a tragic hero?
    6. How are women typically represented in Shakespeare’s plays? How do they typically die and what does that say of how they were considered at the time?
    7. What was the purpose or role of “madness” used in Shakespeare’s plays?
  4. What themes exist in the play?
  5. What is the plot of the play? How do things develop, become more complicated, and then are resolved? (Note – you might decide to avoid learning the final outcome of the play, to naturally enjoy it as we read/perform it.)
  6. Develop five questions you are left with now that you hope to have answered by the time we’ve performed and read the play.
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April 7

ELA B30 Choosing a Poem for your Performance

Your next assignment is to select a poem of appropriate difficulty level and at least 15 lines and to dramatically perform it for the class. To help you get a sense of poems that would be suitable for this assignment, I’m going to give you a few links of ones that would work well for your choice.

 

Megan Married Herself – have to read this lol

Death is Nothing at All

After the Dinner Party

The Friend

Sorcery (looks long but has short lines)

He Has an Oral Fixation

ABC

White Dog (Marin this would be good for you!)

Old Love

The Wolves

Love, I’m Done With You – ouch, a bitter break up poem!

I am Trying to Break Your Heart – taxidermy comparison

To You Again – someone in a relationship feels unnoticed

The Mask– you could listen to this poem narrated for a short bit to be reminded of how to perform or speak poetry. (It’s too long to be someone’s choice, though.)

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March 31

ELA B30 Types of Relationships – Exploring Expressions of Them

The Lumineers – the lead singer, Wesley, mentioned his father died ten years ago and he thought he was managing that loss, until one day he needed a pair of black dress socks and went to borrow a pair from his father’s sock drawer. In it, he found a pistol – a pistol he never knew his father owned.

The following song is about that moment and his processing of that new information. He mentioned the struggle, the reality of his father’s loss then, realizing he had questions he knew could never be answered.

A question a young student might ask is “why do people write poetry” and “why do we read poetry”?

People write poetry in moments like Wesley’s, in an effort to process something important in their life.

Others then will read that poetry to help them understand their own experiences, see how others processed those difficult thoughts and emotions, and develop a wider understanding of what it means to be human and interact with others.

 

We also watched another video, a true exchange between two exes who still held hurt from their relationship. Does this seem like a typical type of exchange between two exes, from your experience of romantic relationships?

 

 

 

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February 28

ELA B30 Developing Essay Writing Skills – Transitions Between Paragraphs

Some of the basics of developing the typical keyhole essay have been established for you all.Image result for transitions We’re able, then, to focus on more advanced and specific elements of developing your essay writing. In particular, many of you can improve how smoothly a reader flows through your writing, more easily following your line of thinking between the paragraphs. To improve this, you must develop stronger transitions between your paragraphs that guide the reader through the parts of your argument and shows the connections between the paragraph ideas. 

Many of you have developed a strength in writing good topic sentences.

What you must do now is develop the transitions that precede them to link one paragraph idea to the next.

Some essay samples are provided below.
They range in quality of whether they have these transitions between paragraphs. Some are basic/redundant (first, second, third), some miss these transitions entirely and only have topic sentences, while others have developed both the topic sentence and the transition to accompany it. See if you can rate them in order of basic to advanced.

A:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E: