May 30

B10: MAy 30 Poetry presentations / “The Tell-Tale Heart” story…

  1. Students completed more of the poetry presentations. Any others not completed with have to be done for me outside of classtime. Make arrangements with me for times. None will be accepted after June 6.
  2. We watched / listened to Vincent Price’s fantastic narration / performance of “The Tell-Tale Heart”. He was an amazing actor who can never be replaced!!
  3. Students will have to create their own narrative story. They worked on a bit of brainstorming to finish the class.

See the performance Price does here. Part One       
                                                           Part Two

May 30

B30: May 30 “No Man is an Island”…

  1. Today, we discussed all the literature in this sub unit (Individuals, Groups and Social Responsibility) as a whole to see the bigger picture.
  2. The poem, “No Man is an Island” is a good summary of all the points made in the sub-unit. We create a society. We have responsibilities, whether great or small. Each individual and their choices have an impact. We all know this, but it’s important to reflect on that from time to time.I came upon a stranger’s blog this morning when reviewing this material. He seems shocked by the money individuals spend on “virtual islands”. It seems absurd what people will do with their money. He makes the good point that everyone has certain “vices” or small things we indulge on, but fake land? Read it and see what you think.


We also watched a portion of the video Cast Away. The character played by Tom Hanks is so isolated in his world (on the deserted island) that he finds the need to create a companion, in his mind. He needs to communicate, to share his existance and thoughts with someone so he creates someone. It serves a function, keeps him sane somewhat, but can’t do what other people would do. We are social creatures. We are drawn to others. It comes naturally for us. We questioned, in class, though, what would happen if someone grew up entirely isolated, having no contact with another living thing. Would they be drawn to something else, or would it be natural for them to not communicate whatsoever. Curious thought.


“Any man’s death diminishes me, / Because I am involved in mankind” – A profound thought.

May 29

B10: May 29 Scary poetry presentations…

  1. The Assembly and SRC speeches cut into our class time a bit today, but when we got back those students prepared to present their poems had their names listed on the board in random order and on it went. A few did a fantastic job, adding a lot of drama or intensity into their narration of their chosen poem. Others completed the assignment but lacked focus or effort. The marks will all reflect these things!
  2. We had a bit of time left in the class, so I showed them the attached “Jabberwocky” poem that’s linked in yesterday’s blog post. It is pretty creepy. I’m curious how he filmed it. I wouldn’t mind trying one of my own, maybe to narrate “The Raven” by memory. lol (Just you wait until we start reading “The Raven”!! It’s one of the best poems, ever!) 
May 29

B30: May 29 “A Modest Proposal” reading / listening and questions…


  1. Students read along to an audio narration of the story “A Modest Proposal“, which suggests people in Ireland during famine and depression eat their children and use their skin for leather to suppy for their families. Obviously, the students were a little concerned about the sanity of the author! (Click the link above to read the article or listen to the file above.)
  2. The following questions were given as an Exit Slip assignment and students had to complete them before leaving at the end of class.

1) What is the author’s purpose for writing this? (To entertain, persuade, analyze, criticize, educate, explain, etc)
2) What evidence is there to prove your response?
3) On the second last page, first paragraph, the author lists several criticisms. List them and explain where you think they come from.
4) Is the story more ridiculous than the idea of people being told to exist by their own means when it is clear no one can? Explain.
5) This is obviously a satire – the author is commenting with criticism what he sees in his society:
     a) Explain the benefit of satires.
     b) What can be gained from reading them?
     c) Give three examples to prove this is a satire.
6) How does this story fit into the unit of Individuals, Groups and Responsibility.

May 28

ELA B10: May 28 Extra work class…


  1. Many of the students were away for track today so those here had the extra class to work on missing assignments or prepare for their poetry presentation tomorrow. Remember, part of your evaluation mark will come from any preparations you make in the presentation portion (costume, sound effects, etc) and the inflection of your voice, whether it be sad or creepy or scratchy.

    Check out the video above and maybe find inspiration. (The poem recited in the video is one called “Jabberwocky” that includes a lot of made-up words but by your understanding of their place in the sentence, you should still be able to understand the message.)

  2. See the list of Replacement assignments linked above. Any missing assignments at this point will not be accepted; you must, instead, start the project over with the new topics given on the handout. (We’ve discussed the purpose of new assignments – it is to be fair to the rest of the students who did the original in the given amount of time. You begin again and have the same amount of time and then all is fair.)


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May 28

B30: May 28 Blog assignment reminder…

  1. Today’s class, because of small attendance due to track, was a work period. All students recently got a list of missing assignments and their current mark. They were asked to work towards completing those missing assignments.
  2. The Grade twelves have to write a blog entry for Friday under the title of “Social Responsibility”.
    The following questions were given for students to use to get them thinking and respond to them collectively.
    – Do you have responsibility because of your age or more responsibility because of the advantages you have?
    – Do you think there is much you are capable of doing or are you limited?
    – Should you worry about what goes on in other countries when poverty and health problems exist in our own country?
  3. For the blog entry, they have to have their two paragraph post, one link to a related article, one video related to the topic, and a link to the comment they made on someone else’s blog of the same topic.
  4. IF… you have not started your own blog and have nothing to create a post in, you can add your entry as a comment to this post, being sure to still include all that is required.
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May 27

B30: May 27 “The Verger” independent reading / questions…


  1. There was a breakdown on the board of where the student marks are in this class. Students were given a mini report (report card) yesterday that gave them their current mark in class. The breakdown on the board showed where they fit into the bigger picture of the whole class. It was as follows:
    5 @ less than 50%
    8 @ 51-60%
    7 @ 61-70%
    5 @ 71-80%
    6 @ 81-90%
    4 @ 91-100%
    Hopefully, students will be motivated to keep working hard through the final four weeks coming, or work hard to catch up before the year is over.
  2. There is a list posted outside the classroom door with Replacement Assignments. (See attached above.) Anyone missing any of the assignments, other than the Hamlet essays, will have to instead complete the replacement assignment. This ensures fairness as the ones who did the original assignment in time feel satisfied that others weren’t given extra time. The ones who missed the originals still get the chance to do well, but have to start over.
  3. Students worked quietly and independently today while reading the short story “The Verger” and completing five questions attached at the end. There is a great discrepancy between how thorough student responses are for questions. I am confident the more thorough responders benefit with much higher marks. Students should practice (are encouraged to practice) being more complete with their work. (Hint: If you answe five questions, each with parts to consider, and your responses are less than ten words and fit on five lines of page, you’re not trying hard enough.)
  4. Most students were able to finish the reading and questions and used their left-over class time by working on their blog entry assigned yesterday that is due Friday.

Read the story “The Verger” here.


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May 27

B10: May 27 Fig lang retest / “The Door in the Floor” audio…

  1. Students began the class with a retest of figurative language that we have studied quite intensively at this point.
  2. There was also a breakdown on the board for students to consider. They were given mini reports the other day and to see where their mark fits into the bigger picture of the whole class the list broke down how many students are in each mark category. It went as such:
    6 @ less than 50%
    7 @ 51-60 %
    1 @ 61-70%
    6 @ 71-80%
    6 @ 81-90%
    2 @ 91 -100%
    With only four weeks of classes left, and new assignments yet to be given and completed, I’m hopeful some students will find the motivation to complete missing work to improve their mark. There’s time left, yet!
  3. We reviewed the difference between Fantasy writing and Science Fiction, mainly that one includes science, if you look at the most simple difference.
    I also asked them to clarify the difference between Fantasy and Fairytale writing. Ultimately, Fairytales are written for children and end with a happy ending. One student asked if Shrek would be a fairytale still and it is, with the distinction of being a Modern Fairytale. Being modern, it applies more to the moral codes of today’s society, such as women being in control of their own destiny instead of waiting for the “prince to rescue them”.
  4. We read together as a class a very short story titled “The Door in the Floor” that has great repetition of that same title, which gathered snickers from the class. We listened to the audio reading of it, though, and through the narrator’s skills we enjoyed a very “eerie” story. I pointed out the distinction of looking to see what the narrator (reader) does to evoke the mysterious or creepy mood verses the effort made by the writer to create such a mood. Many students mix this up when reflecting on something we’ve listened to as well as read. Be careful with this – when asked what the writer did to create a mood, don’t respond with comments about the music in the background or pauses in the reader’s voice.

Here is the audio of the story we read / listened to. See what you think? “The Door in the Floor”


May 26

B10: May 26 Figurative language review / poetry assignment review…

  1. I was away last Friday and students wrote a figurative language exam. (They had been given notice of that exam a week before they wrote the test on Friday.) I heard from several of them that they felt they did very poorly on the exam Friday. Today, then, we reviewed the figurative language they are expected to know; we reviewed the handout they have that lists them all.
  2. I gave them back the exams they wrote on Friday and instead we used it as practice. We discussed each question and the possible types of figurative language found in each. They said… it helped a lot. We will see when they are re-tested tomorrow.
  3. Next, we talked about another handout they were given when I was absent last week. There are three stories from the Ghost Stories of Saskatchewan book, along with two newspaper articles from the Regina Post discussing some local crop circles found in our area. Students had a sheet attached where they were to write their personal response to each story/article. Once done, their assignment is to create a blog entry focusing on the following prompt:
    How do you you explain things happening or existing in our world that two thousand years of accumulated knowledge cannaot explain? How do these “things” fit into your idea of what is real or not?
    For this blog entry, they had to do like all the others: include two paragraph response, one comment on a friend’s blog, a link to a related article and a video of some sort. (Note: in their blog post, they have to add an extra link to the blog post of whose blog they commented on.)

Not sure about this figurative language stuff? Here are some websites to test your skill.

Click here.

Here’s another.

And another.


May 26

ELA B30: May 26 Question discussions / blog assignment…

  1. Mini reports were handed out to students along with any marked assignments to return. (These were ready for them last week, but the sub unfortunately didn’t realize to hand them out.)
  2. We reviewed the short story “The Inheritor” and looked at the mental stages the three characters, the man, the dingo, and the ewe, all go through as the story progresses. The man obvious had many more steps to his thought process. In the end, the dingo has the higher ground, not the man, meaning the dog had control over the situation by his animal instinct, even though the man should have been able to outsmart him by using his rational thought process. The man is described at the end of the story, also, as a “wild-looking man” so readers can question whether he had his human reasoning skills throughout or whether he fell into animal instincts in the end. We discussed the questions for this story with different students contributing their responses.
  3. Students were also given an article titled “The Next Generation” to read. There were no questions given with this except three question prompts to get them thinking. Students have to read the article and, by the end of the week, create a blog entry in response to it. For their blog entry, they have to do as before, include a blog post, a comment on someone else’s blog, a link and video. This is under our sub-unit that is looking at social responsibility and individuals. Keep that in mind when responding with your blog entry.
  4. Tomorrow, we’ll move on to new literature. Some students will be missing Wednesday for track so they’ll have to plan to play catch-up when they return on Thursday.