December 12

ELA A30 B14 Short Story Texts – Canadian Landscape

This next section of the course specifically looks at one theme of CanLit through one genre: Canadian landscape and character relationships with the land explored through the genre of short stories.

You will soon have an assignment to develop a Canadian short story, so one of your purposes for reading is to identify techniques of the writers that you can play with to incorporate into your own writing.

The two texts we will study are linked below:

The Wedding Gift

Home Place

December 7

ELA A30 “Bartok and the Geranium” Livesay poem

Dorothy Livesay is one of Canada’s most popular and admired poets.

She wrote strong poetry during a time in history when the role of women was stereotypically to be passive, submissive, and a housewife or mate.  She caused waves and is now admired for the confidence and forcefulness her poetry includes.

The poem of “Bartok and the Geranium” is one of contrast between a soft, quiet living thing compared to a busy, aggressive, smashing living thing that interrupts the environment it invades. Read it and see if you can make comparisons of this poem to another of Canadian literature that you’ve studied recently.

You can read the poem in one piece here at this Noteography site where I have published it, or read the two images together below.





It’s also been shared on #Twitter. 

“Bartok and the Geranium”
by Dorothy Livesay (Canadian poet)

She lifts her green umbrellas
Towards the pane
Seeking her fill of sunlight
or of rain;
Whatever falls
She has no commentary
Accepts, extends,
Blows out her furbelows,
Her bustling boughs;
And all the while he whirls
Exploding in space,
Never content with this small room:
Not even can he be
Confined to sky
But must speed high and higher still
From galaxy to galaxy,
Wrench from the stars their momentary notes
Steal music from the moon.

She’s daylight
He is dark
She’s heaven-held breath
He storms and crackles
Spits with hell’s own spark.

Yet in this room, this moment now
These together breathe and be:
She, essence of serenity,
He in a mad intensity
Soars beyond sight
Then hurls, lost Lucifer,
From heaven’s height.

And when he’s done, he’s out:
She leans a lip against the glass
And preens herself in light.


December 6

ELA A10 Challenges Text – The Sniper short story pdf

You’ll be reading the story called “The Sniper”, by Liam O’Flaherty. As you read, you should use Active Reading and watch for and be able to answer the following:


  • Make a prediction
  • Ask a question of the text
  • Clarify something you don’t exactly understand
  • Make a comment
  • Make a connection to yourself
  • Share what puzzles you of the text
  • Identify something unique about the writing
  • Identify an example of inference
  • Summarize what’s happening
  • Make a connection to another text
  • Share what you visualize
  • Identify what is motivating characters right now
  • Make a connection to the world / society
  • Identify something relevant or irrelevant
  • Identify a single phrase or sentence that is significant
December 2

ELA A30 Assignment: Presenting Spoken Poetry (Resources)

You’ll have an assignment where you’re asked to select a poem of at least 15 lines written by a Canadian poet of an appropriate difficulty level for Grade 12. You’ll prepare/practice your oral presentation of the poem and record it, combine that audio with image files using a multimedia program, like iMovie, and publish a polished multimedia project as a final product.

Here is my advice on constructing your poetry media project: focus on Layering, Leveling, and Staggering your media pieces.

Here are student samples of this project, shared with their permission:

This student really played with the technology options, by even using a voice modifier to make the narration in the poem sound like it was spoken by someone else.

This student developed a nearly flawless multimedia project, using a collection of videos, sound effects, and background music to really accentuate the tension within the poem he chose. It’s an excellent representation of what your project should be as a finished product.

This project includes a great example of well-selected visual images (both photos and video clips) along with music to accurately portray the tone developed by the poem.

  1. Listening to Samples of Spoken Poetry: To help you get in the mindset of what proper speaking of poetry sounds like, there are resources collected here to support you.


      • In particular, you can listen to the very last poem spoken by actor Anthony Hopkins. Another is a Shakespeare sonnet spoken by the voice of “Darth Vader”, James Earl Jones.

    Video Reviewing Poetry Speaking: This resource reviews five specific things to consider when preparing to speak poetry orally.

  2. Here’s a copy of my poetry narration: this one is an example of the A10 Assignment that didn’t require video or images. I enjoyed finding the right sound effects and music in the background.
  3. Selecting a Canadian Poem:
    1. I’ve assembled dozens of poem options and wrote on each page a quick summary of what the poem is about. It could be easy to pick from this pdf collection (a) or this second pdf collection (b).
    2. There are hundreds of poems to select from on this resource page. 
    3. There are also Canadian poetry anthologies (poetry collections) in books in the classroom to flip through.


Starting Your Poetry Project:

  • Instructional Video – reviews the characteristics of multimedia, the tools to consider using in video making, and some of the steps to begin.