March 8

ELA B30: Mar 8/16 Starting “The Pardoner’s Tale” – text link

Our next text to study is written by Geoffrey Chaucer who lived from 1343 – 1400 in the Middle Ages. Consider once again the potential of a text written in a time with a completely different culture and way of living to be still studied and applied to our way of life and values over 600 years later.

This text, “The Pardoner’s Tale” is only one portion of a much larger text called The Cantebury Tales. It includes a number of sub-section texts. The premise of the story is that a number of travellers are together and each takes a turn telling a story that relates to their life or values. This is the story of a Pardoner, a man of the church who goes around and sells “pardons from God” to believers. This was before a time when most people, peasants included, would have been educated and able to read, so their belief in the Church came only from what the religious men told of them. No one was relieved of their sins by talking to God directly through prayer – instead they would pay a price to a Pardoner and have their sins cleansed.

A2 The Cantebury Tales - overview of all sections


A2 Text -The Pardoner’s Tale – colour copied from text (sent to your email to download to your iPad)

This is a translated version – from Old English to Modern English.


May 28

ELA B30 Reflection Activity – handout

You lucky few used to contribute work examples to a personal blog a few years ago, so you have the benefit of a collection of your work being available to review. You’re going to take some time today to read some of your previous writing samples and reflect on whether you feel you’ve grown in confidence or abilities with your written work.

If you’d like to add your reflections to the handout on the Word doc, here’s the link to open it.    

I’m looking forward to watching you look back and reading what you think of your growth!

May 27

Another look at Shakespeare

Once you have finished your Parody Assignment of the famous “to be or not to be” soliloquy, you have a bit of background research to complete. There are two videos and one website for you to watch, but before you begin…

  • you must use a new sheet of paper and at the top write out your Purpose for Viewing / Reading the following websites. Remember that we have employed many Before, During, and After strategies in your ELA class, so predict and establish what your Purpose is for viewing.
  • Once you’ve established that, you can view the first of two videos. It is titled Shakespeare is Everywhere – it is a TEDxTalk video taped in Vancouver. You should jot notes to summarize some of the main points included in the video. It is just over 16 minutes long.

  • Next, there’s another TEDxTalk video relating Shakespeare’s connection / similarity to Hip Hop. It is of a similar length as the last one.


If you finish both of those in the span of the class period, you can do an online search of common phrases that originated from Shakespeare. We use his language everyday and are typically quite unaware of it.


We’ll discuss these videos tomorrow in class. Have fun!


June 15

ELA B30: June 15 Hamlet’s end, via video…

  1. Students watched the end of the video for Macbeth. As it played on, I paused it at times to discuss or elaborate on certain events, like the question “Why did Hamlet say ‘The rest if silent'”?
  2. We are finished the play, students have accumulated some great quotes from the play to reference for their exam and we will look at those quotes and others on Monday in our preperations.
  3. Remember, our theme in studying Hamlet in this unit was “Doubt and Fear”, that it is a common human experience, regardless of time in history or class of man.
June 14

ELA B30: June 14 Act IV read all the way through…

  1. Students discussed what had previously happened in our last reading and were reminded that Act III in Shakespeare plays seals the fate of the tragic character. Up to the key event in Act III, Hamlet was so concerned with his fate, whether he’d end up in heaven or hell and it was this question that caused him to delay so long. Once he had accidentally killed Polonius, an innocent man, Hamlet realized he was damned to hell already so he might as well continue on with his quest for vengeance, except he goes in such a round-about way of doing it. Once Act III is finished, it is clear that Hamlet is destined to become a fully tragic figure.
  2. We read and discussed all of Act IV together. We also wrote a few found quotes from the reading on the board and talked about how they could apply to our unit theme if used in their essay on the departmental.
June 13

ELA B30: June 13 Play Ball!!

  1. Students have been asking and quick to remind me that each class gets one ‘free class’ at the end of the year. With several students missing today, the kids took advantage of it and went out to play ball. Some kids worked in the library or classroom on their History assignment. Either way, they had a good afternoon.
June 11

ELA B30: June 11 Viewing Hamlet, the movie…

  1. Students continued watching the Mel Gibson version of the movie. They were to watch for the portion where the Play is within the play. This is where Hamlet finally sees guilt on the face of the King and thinks he has his proof to carry forward with his plan of revenge.

    [kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
    Enjoy the Simpson's version of Hamlet, too, just for fun.

June 7

ELA B30: June 7 Hamlet acting and the play within the play…

  1. We began the class today with two students acting out a scene we read through yesterday. (Yesterday, the students were near dead-like so they would not try acting it out. Today, they had a bit more life in them!)
  2. We continued with the reading and have learned that Claudius feels remore and guilt over his actions of killing his brother and admitted, to himself only, that he did it out of greed over his brother’s wife, Gertrude. We also understand that Hamlet feels like life is nothing but then admits all he is doing it putting off his act.
  3. We noticed several usable quotes for the essay they may have to write so we wrote them on the board for students to add them to their list of quotes.