April 28

Ap 29/16 Station D: What did you think of “The Woman in This Poem”?

There is a lot of variety in the types of poems written, differing by their format, attitude they approach a common topic with, word choice, etc.

The following poem will likely be a poem unlike any you’ve read so far in school ELA classes. It’s another sample of what poetry can be like.

B5 Poem - The Woman in this Poem

Task- Either alone or with a partner you will:

  1. read through the poem
  2. add comments/questions/insights on the Right-Hand side of the poem. Underline or circle the part of the poem that triggers your comment and draw a line from it to your comment on the right. 
    • As others rotate through to this Station Activity, they will read the poem, read your comments left on the right, and then add their own comments/questions/insights either directly to the poem or to the comments left by the ones before.
    • There will be additional slips of paper added to the right for these additional readings/annotations of the poem. (See image)
  3. What kinds of things can you comment on?
    • if you can visualize what’s described in the poem, mention it and explain what you see
    • if reading a phrase reminds you of something from another story, your own experience, something you’ve heard, write down that connection
    • if there’s a phrase that infers/hints at something and you recognize it, identify and explain it
    • if you’re surprised by something, write down what triggered your response and how why
    • if you like a certain pairing of words together, using plays on sounds of words like Alliteration, Consonance, Assonance, Repetition, or Rhyme, identify and explain what you like about it
    • if you have questions for the author – why did they word it this way, what are they hinting at here, is there a phrase missing at the end of this line, etc write them out
    • if you develop predictions of how things will end, explain what you anticipate and why
  4. When you’re done, before moving to the next station:
    • Individually (each in the partner group) needs to add a comment to this post to share what you thought overall of the poem you studied. Try to develop at least a 3 sentence response.

Below is an example of what it may look like as groups rotate through this station.


April 28

Ap 28/16 Station C: Comparing Poems – are they more alike than not?

A lot of poems can be written about the same topic, though the author’s approach can be very different. Pick any topic and you could write a poem that celebrates it or complains about it.

You’ll review two poems and try to decide if they’re more similar or more different.

Task: With a partner or on your own

  1. Read through each poem and summarize its meaning. Depending on the difficulty level and whether there are any unfamiliar words, you could consider breaking the longer one down into pieces to summarize each before you decide on a general summary of the whole poem at the end.
  2. Make a t-chart with room to identify their Similarities (on the Left) and Differences (on the Right).
  3. Review both poems with your partner (if you have one) and try to identify what about the poems can be compared. It may include things like:
    • the tone or attitude towards the topic – whether it is positive or not
    • the formatting of each – a typical type of formatting or more unique/specific
    • language used – familiar words, general words, combinations of words used together for effect
    • punctuation use – did they use it or not, how did it change/affect reading the poem
    • is the poem narrative (tells a story) or more figurative (hypothetical)
    • is the purpose of the poem clear or obscure
    • does the poem make meaning clear (explicit) or do you have to infer a lot (implicit)
    • is there a clear speaker for the poem? whose voice is it told through? is a character established as the speaker?
    • what point of view is it told from? 3rd person omniscient, 3rd person limited, 2nd person, or 1st person?
    • use of plays on sounds of words: alliteration, consonance, assonance, rhyme, repetition
    • what is the poem asking of the reader?
    • other – what else can you recognize of importance in the poem?
  4. After studying and comparing the similarities and differences between the two poems, add a comment below in this post As a Team and explain what your final conclusion is: are the two poems more alike or more dissimilar from each other? What is your reasoning/proof?
  5. Be sure to leave your name(s) in your comment.


The poems to compare are given below.

B5 Poem – Life

B5 Poem – Whatll It Be


April 28

Ap 28/16 Station B: Is the poem positive or negative? Prove it.

With all types of literature, authors can actually play around developing their own style or a style for a particular text. This is true for the next poem in this station.

What’s unusual about this poem is  it speaks in double negatives; by the pairing of words, it seems a bit tricky to really clarify what the poem is saying.

It’s also very fitting because of what the speaker of the poem is dealing with – not having many opportunities to make their own decisions.

Task: With a partner or on your own

  1. Make a COPY of the poem in this Google Doc file. In your Copy, read the poem through and on the right-hand side summarize in your own words what the stanzas say. This will take it from the double negative talk to a straightforward explanation.
  2. Discuss with your partner and try to figure out what purpose and/or main point the speaker is trying to make clear through their narration.
  3. After reading the poem, decide if it’s mostly a positive or negative poem and explain your opinion below as a comment. Be thorough in your explanation of your choice.
  • Each group will submit one comment.
  • Make sure you identify the members of your group.

The poem is provided below. A digital copy of it to comment on online or to print a copy from it is given above in Step 1. 

B5 Poem – Choices nikki giovanni(pdf copy)

April 28

Ap 28/16 Station A – Individually – find a poem about Choice

Do some online digging and find a poem that stands out to you related to our common topic of Decision-making. 

Task: on your own  (each)

  1. Look online for a poem that suits the following criteria:
    1. is at least 10 – 15 lines long
    2. is of an appropriate difficulty level for Grade 10
    3. is related to the theme of choices/influences of decisions/decision-making
  2. Copy the poem text to a document (Word/Google Doc/Email)
  3. Identify 5 qualities of the poem that stand out or draw a reaction from you. For each of the 5, write one sentence explaining what you recognize or what stands out as being important to you. Number each sentence and try to make your points specific about this particular poem you’ve selected.
  4. Once you have your poem and 5 points made about it, copy and paste that into the comment space to this post. Make sure you leave your name.

Note: If your comments are general enough that they can be applied to another random poem about Choices, your point is not specific enough.


You can search for this on Poetry Websites or even by images.


April 28

Ap 28/16 Exploring Decision-making Poetry: rotation stations

In this section, we’re going to focus more on shorter texts, poems, rather than articles or short stories. There will be several stations set up and you can work through them in the order you want and on your own or with a partner. If you’re not able to finish within a certain amount of time, you’ll be able to complete from home as well.

The paper copies are posted in the different corners of the room to work through if you like, or the same information is available online if it’s your preference to stay in one spot and chose the order you’ll work through the tasks.


Note: After completing each section, make sure to leave a comment on the blog post. Follow the directions for what the purpose of that comment will be for each.

Before Reading Either Story – Reminders on Theme vs Tone:

  • Theme is the moral of the story, the message an author wants to leave readers with. Theme can be a single word or a phrase that relates to the ideas developed in the story. Examples of themes include:
    • Vulnerability of people
    • Family relationships & conflicts
    • Struggles
    • Isolation & loneliness
    • Mentoring of old to young
    • Regret
    • The role of women in families
    • Here is a Huge List of Themes online
  • Tone is the mood developed in a story. By the events and language the author uses in the story, how is it intending to make readers feel? Tone is expressed as an “emotion”; if your tone answer isn’t an emotion, a feeling, you’ve misunderstood tone. Examples of tone include:

Station A: Choose your own poem 

Station B: Judgement – is the poem negative or positive?

Station C: Comparison of two poems – mostly similar or different?

Station D: Layered Annotations – add your thoughts and respond to others Continue reading

April 26

Ap 26/16 PreReading Activity Choose your Own Speaking/Writing/Representing

Hey 10s,  

You’ll have two classes to work through 3 stations of your choosing plus one mandatory station. Here’s the run-down:

  • you can do the work independently or with a partner.
  • you will add your written/audio/representing work into a Google Doc and share with both me and your partner (if you have one)
  • Consider what technology may be most useful for you in developing this (ie: Fotobabble vs audio recorder – which is most reliable and easily shared)
  • Keep track of the station titles/lettering so you can track that you have completed 3+1.
  • There is no “right order” to these. Choose them as you want.

A. Descriptive Writing:
Identify a challenging decision a person might have to make and Describe the potential consequences you could foresee from both choice A and choice B.

B. Word Salad Representing:
Make a list of 20 phrases/words related to decision-making and create a Word Salad (iPad app). Submit the photo in your Google doc. If you have a hyperlink add it as well.

C. Debate Speaking:
Record a discussion (of at least 3 minutes long) arguing either

  • A: all people face the same pressures in life
  • B: all people do not face the same pressures in life

D. Post-It List Representing:
Make a list of 15 of the big choices individuals have to make from their teens to Twenties. Get Post-Its from me to add these in chronological order on the bulletin board.
Other groups following will have to try to add in other big decisions between the ones already given.

E. Narrative Speaking:
Record an audio narration of a challenging decision you have had to make and the tipping point(s) of that choice for you that helped you make up your mind. Consider, as well, whether you had any second guessing in whether that choice was best, after the fact.

F. Mandatory One: Pre-testing Figurative Language Skills in Socrative
Everyone will at some point complete the Socrative Figurative Language quiz. This is not for marks, but to assess how skilled you are in identifying figurative language examples.



Good luck!


April 26

Ap 26/16 Learning to Leave Quality Comments – Peer Activity

Though it’s happened slowly, you’ve developed quite a bit of content in your student blog. I want to give you time today to reflect back on that work and the work of others in the class. In particular, today you’re going to spend some time learning about what quality comments include and share some feedback with peers in class.

You can follow along with this handout here. It identifies media content that is hyperlinked below.


April 26

Ap21/16 Our Pre-Reading Discussion of Hamlet Topics – for Ruby who was missing!

Before we dig into reading this great play, you did some online research to develop a pretty thorough understanding of the background, characters, plot events and other elements included in this play. Why did you do that? Because being able to understand 450 year old literature isn’t as important as being able to understand the plot elements and deeper concepts within the story itself.

The following recordings are for Ruby – it’s our review and discussion of what was found in this pre-reading inquiry searching.


We’ll be reading the play using the No Fear Shakespeare that shows the old text version beside a modern translation. You can find the link to it here. Make sure you keep track from class to class the page/website we left off from.


April 21

Ap21/16 Samples of student #Hamlettweets from online

We’re going to have some fun! While we read through our play, Hamlet, together, we’re going to try tweeting about it as if we were observers in this community where all the tragedy unfolds. We had to work out a few procedure items to start:

  • Are you going to use your own personal Twitter handle or make another for this school project?
  • What common Hashtag are we going to use so we can all follow/see what we’re tweeting as a group? (Our answer #ktownb30)
  • I (teacher) had to decide if I’m going to use my own twitter handle or make a new one

We wanted to check and see if anyone else was really using #HamletTweets and they have been, numerous classes seem to have added comments. Other teachers have had students write the tweets on paper and then the teacher tweeted them on behalf of the students. There are lots of ways to go about trying this!


Here is a collection of some of the funniest ones we saw.


April 19

Ap 19/16 A Collection of Hamlet Resources – get to know the play!

Before we read the play Hamlet, you’re going to study about the play Hamlet. (Say wha?) Yes, you’re going to use the World Wide Web and do some digging and learn the secrets of Shakespeare’s  most famous play, Hamlet. Shakespeare even taunts readers/viewers of the play with a famous line that dares them to “Pluck out the mystery” (3, ii). There’s one overriding question related to this play. Let’s see if you can discover it.

As you come across great resources to help explore this text, share them and I’ll add them to our collection here.

You can click on the images to open them in their respective websites.


Hamlion - Common Narratives in Hamlet and the Lion King Infographic:

Stick Figure Hamlet