January 31

Psych 30 Jan 31/17 Jumping into Developmental Psych

For your first taste of Psych 30, I have a listening activity for you to complete. It is developed by Radio Lab, which you’ve all listened to in the past. This story may draw you in as it’s a compelling interview wiImage result for 23 weeks and 6 days radiolabth a woman who went through some extreme challenges in the birth of her child.

1. While you listen, you will jot ideas, significant points, predictions and questions down in a shared Google Doc located at this link or from the QR Code. Once you’ve finished listening to the podcast, we will review your comments/reflections in a group discussion before moving on.





2. Listening Podcast: 23 Weeks 6 Days (Radiolab)  You can also open the link to the website here. 


3. After Listening: When you’ve finished the podcast, you can review the comments others have posted in the shared Google Doc. You might want to add comments to some questions or insights posted there, to start your conversation on the topic.
After listening and reviewing, though, at the bottom of the shared Google Doc, write a short paragraph explaining what stands out most to you about the listening activity, what topics you’re most anticipating discussing in this course, and what made you choose it. (name: short paragraph)

4. Next, you have an online research challenge: there’s an age old debate in Psychology and other sciences about the meaning and influences of Nature and Nurture on a child. Look it up – see what you can find out or underImage result for nature nurturestand about what the Nature part is and the Nurture pare. We’ll be discussing it in class, but it will be interesting to see first what you can find out and learn about it on your own.


I’m available for help through the Remind app. There is a new Psych 30 course to sign up for updates.


January 31

ELA 9 Jan 31/17 Romeo + Juliet Movie: Personal Responses

You’ve just finished watching this unique interpretation of the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet.

What did you think of it?

Image result for romeo and juliet baz luhrmann gif

Write out a personal response as a Comment below. Ensure your response is:

  1. Think before you write/comment. Before writing, consider what you want to comment on.
  2. Written out considering an audience in mind (no shorthand language like in texting)
  3. Be specific about your comments. If you liked something, explain what in particular of that characteristic you liked.
  4. Be constructive with your reflections/criticisms. Comments can be developed to relay a personal preference, but not be overly critical of the movie.


  1. Your personal reaction to the film.
  2. Something positive you liked about it.
  3. Something (or whatever else) you disliked about it.



Have a minute? Add a comment on some Gr 9 student blogs who were journaling about what’s Awesome to them.


January 31

ELA B10 Equality – Do we have a fair and equal society?

Inequalities in Society

Consider how people are treated around you when they’re considered by some to be different. There are a lot of examples in the world recently where the idea of “other” is growing and racial division is causing more severe treatments of people, even in Canada.

This section looks at that treatment, through literature examples to help you understand what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.

      • YouTube Video: Race for $100



  • Viewing a Public Speaker (video below) – Ellen Page (observe her body language, eye contact, and gestures while she speaks. What impression to you get of how comfortable she is speaking?)

    • Ellen Page Video: Toxic Feeling of Holding Identity In (Video below)

  • Film School Ties
    As we watch, take note of his experiences and reactions to being a non-visual minority among his peer group and community.

  • If you didn’t get to watch it in class, talk to me about getting a copy of the film to watch.
January 23

ELA 9 B7.2 Romeo and Juliet – Romeo Journaling

We’ve just finished reading part way into Act 3, which is the climax part of the play. We understand the for the climax that something happens that cannot be undone and everything unravels from there.

Here’s where we are:

  1. Romeo has just gotten married to Juliet – they’re so happy. He’s waiting until nightfall when he can join her in her bedroom and they can consummate their marriage, without her parents knowing.
  2. His friends are still unaware he’s fallen in love with someone other than Rosaline, let alone that it’s a Capulet and he’s married now.
  3. Romeo believes their marriage might be the bandaid to heal the friction between the Capulets and Montagues and vows to treat them all like his family.
  4. Except Tybalt, still angry that Romeo had the nerve to attend Capulet’s ball uninvited is still searching to have it out with Romeo – a duel to the death is what he’s looking for.
  5. Mercutio is a loud-mouth and doesn’t know Romeo would hope to avoid this fight, so instead he stirs the pot and adds tension to the conversation, causing Tybalt to turn on him. Romeo fights to keep them apart from each other in their duel, and by this action allows Tybalt to get a fatal hit upon Mercutio.
  6. Mercutio is dead. Romeo feels it’s his fault, for not continuing to fight off Tybalt. Whether now a Capulet in marriage or not, regardless of his love for Juliet, Romeo is angered by his friend’s death and wants revenge.
  7. If Tybalt had stayed away, Romeo might have calmed down, but Tybalt returns to finish the feud with Romeo. They fight and Rome0 slays Tybalt. Now a killer, he’ll either be put to death or banished from Verona; either way, by this single action, he’s lost the chance to be with Juliet.

And it all falls apart from there.


Your writing challenge – journal from Romeo’s perspective right now. In particular, be sure to include:

  • what he cherishes most and fears losing
  • what he was hoping for in his future with Juliet
  • how he feels about the events that have just unfolded – his part in the death of Mercutio and the murder of Tybalt
  • what he fears may be the resulting consequence, since he is yet unaware what punishment he may face.

Writing Length – aim for 500 – 750 words.



January 16

ELA A10 B7 Roles of Gender in Society – Topics to Consider

You’ll be doing some research on a topic that relates to the current roles our genders hold in society. The purpose of this is to pick something of interest to your personality and that may have an impact on your own future.

These topics range from older, ongoing topics to more recent issues that have come up through mass media and other influences. The topics themselves are categorized to be more related to Female, Male, Both genders or other gender identities.

If you have an idea for another topic to use for your project, let me know and I’ll confirm it is an appropriate topic to move forward with.

The topic ideas are categorized in the following groups: 

  1. topics relating to both genders
  2. topics relating to female gender issues
  3. topics relating to male gender issues


Both Genders – Issues of Conflict:

  1. 2017 New: The #metoo movement on social media – people are coming forward sharing their experiences being the victim of sexual harassment or assault. It is mostly females protesting how males have the power or are able to be protected despite this behaviour for years.
  2. 2017 New: Also the #metoo movement focuses mostly on the female perspective, though several males have also recently come forward to disclose experiences of sexual harassment. This voice in the #metoo movement is not as loud, though. Is it not happening as often or not as much of a concern?
    #metoo is also being used by males sharing they have also been the victim of sexual harassment, including actor Terry Crew of the Old Spice Commercials.
  3. analysis of movies to look at how genders are commonly represented. Ex: Lethal Weapon tv show has mostly male cast – only 3 female characters, all secondary characters including the one detective’s wife who is a Lawyer, but mostly only represented inside her home, answering the door or in her kitchen.
  4. Snapchat – look into the controversy of its use for Sexting among teens.
  5. Analyze advertisements for similar products that are gender-specific. Ex: Men’s body wash ads versus female body wash ads.
  6. Teens are now being charged with creating and distributing child pornography for sending and sharing sexting images. Consider why these new applications of the law are necessary.
  7. Female same-sex relationships in media seem more accepted than male same-sex relationships. Why? 
  8. Compare clothing sold for kids and the disparity between the gendered items. Ex: Boys’ shorts go down to almost the knee most often, while young girls’ shorts end mid-thigh. Is there a sexualization of children’s clothing that mostly targets young girls?
  9. Compare treatment and media representations of male and female pro athletes. Ex: Bouchard pro women’s athlete asked to “spin around” after winning a major title game.
  10. Compare dress uniform expectations for male vs female workers in restaurants. Ex: Males are often fully dressed in flat-heeled shoes, while women are often asked to wear tight, low-cut, short skirts/dress outfits with high heels. Boston Pizza and Original Joes are examples of this. Complaints have been made by waitresses to Canada’s Human Rights Commission.
  11. Analyze the difference between gendered play and toys. Example: boys should play with action figures and girls should play with dolls.

Female Gender Issues of Conflict:

  1. Women’s magazines target the age group younger than their own. Ex: Women’s Mags target teens, Teen Mags target Tweens, etc.
  2. In some countries, it is now required to include Warning Labels so consumers know the images have been edited or photoshopped.
  3. Look into what “violence against Women” is; it’s not just physical, but includes many other elements.
  4. Look into the difference in typical women’s clothing sizes from the past to now. Ex: The norm used to be size 14, but now it’s size 10. There didn’t use to be such a thing as a size 0.
  5. Some stores have had PR issues after there was negative feedback about the types of items targeted to very young boys and girls. Ex: Little bralettes with sexualized phrases on them, or boy’s shirts that say “Pimp” on them.
  6. The topic of Vocal Fry, the really low, gravely voice some women use in media. It possibly is considered a negative quality by future employers.
  7. Look up the contrast of female to male CEOs of Canadian or North American Companies. The representation may be as low as 4% – 4 out of 100 CEOs might be women. Why the vast disparity?
  8. Pressure on new moms to “bounce back” after a pregnancy. Consider samples of celebrity mom bloggers who look very similar to their pre-pregnancy bodies and what pressure that puts on every day new moms. Consider what is realistic vs represented as the expectation.
  9. Trends in high schools across Canada/the US of young girls protesting school dress codes, such as a “go braless” movement.
  10. Analyze the treatment of women compared to men in a global sense – in other countries, how are women treated compared to their male counterparts. Ex: In some countries, women aren’t allowed to drive, have to be completely covered when in public, cannot be in the company of any male who is not their father or husband, can be stoned to death by a husband under suspicion of adultery, etc.
  11. Female Genital Mutilation (or Female Circumcision). Why is this done, what does it involve, and what countries/cultures participate in it. What is the expectation related to this potential practice being done in Canada – is it allowed? What’s the reaction if caught?
  12. 2018 India – response to 8-month-old raped by 28 yr old cousin. Calls for changes in women’s protections.
  13. 2018 SAG Awards – Nicole Kidman won Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Mini-Series and, in her acceptance speech, championed those in the film industry who recognize women past 40 “are viable” still. Compare that to the attempts to maintain a youthful appearance by many, including Kidman, whose upper lip seemed to some frozen and unmoving during the SAG Awards evening.
    2018 Golden Globe Ambassador, Simone Garcia Johnson, daughter of “The Rock” Johnson, a 16-year-old presenter at the awards show had a noticeably frozen upper lip as well. Is botox only for the older crowd?

    Half of the searches that show up on YouTube for her relate to her mouth.










Male Gender Issues of Conflict:

  1. Comparison of the misogyny of the past to present. Example: Compare the treatment of women from entertainers like Andrew Dice Clay and Howard Stern compared to recent comments of Donald Trump regarding women.
  2. Do an analysis of the Stanford Rape Case, the young Olympic swimming hopeful who raped a girl and got a very light sentence. His father famously commented to the press that his son’s future was ruined over “20 minutes of action”.
  3. Analyze the issue of Rape Culture and represent some findings. Ex: Some Canadian University sports teams (hockey/football) have had instances of rape by team members and coaches/schools looked the other way for fear of losing funding and reputation loss.
  4. Canadian military – there is much reported recently about the high incidents of sexual assault and harassment against women in the military. Compare the rates to rates of the general public. Could compare it as well rates of reported/alleged assaults against female RCMP members.
  5. Rates of murder-suicide among men. Many incidents of this in recent years in Canada – men kill their kids, wives, and possibly others before killing themselves. What are the warning signs or what is contributing to this? Why is it predominantly men committing this?
  6. Roid Rage in young men. Many examples of pro athletes committing brutal assaults on female partners (ex: player beat up his girlfriend in an elevator & dragged her somewhere). Look into the effects of steroid use that may increase violent tendencies/inability to control emotions.
  7. Look into how some of the different cultures represented in Canada historically/culturally treat women. Ex Some cultures still believe in Honour Killings. 
  8. Compare the acceptance of female to male mental health issues. Does it seem more acceptable for women to admit mental health issues compared to young men? Is there a greater stigma attached for males? Are the rates higher or lower in comparison by gender?
  9. The “Boys Will be Boys” Excuse. There is the belief this phrase is outdated and only plays up and reinforces some of the negatives of the boy/male stereotype – like boys have to be tough, boys can’t show emotion, boys are reckless and that’s okay/to be expected.
Category: ELA 20 | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 13

ELA A10 Jan 13/17 Watching Your Selected Documentary

You should naturally have a habit now of thinking of a text in stages of Before, During, and After. You’ll have to submit evidence that you used strategies for each step to help you make meaning and connections to the text you chose to study.

Some options of what you can review/analyse/write out to prepare yourself for viewing include:

Before Studying/Viewing the Documentary:

  • setting a purpose for why you’re going to view the film
  • reminding yourself of what the characteristics of a documentary are
  • consider the style you observed in watching The Cove and how they constructed their argument and their methods to persuade the viewers
  • Set certain questions for yourself that you hope are answered by the text
  • Look up some background information about the documentary you’ve chosen

During Studying/Viewing the Documentary: 

  • make jot notes of things that stand out to you as you watch the film
  • record the questions you find yourself asking as you’re watching that you may later look up the answers to
  • keep a list of elements of the film you’re critical of or find suspicious
  • monitor your own reactions, mentally and emotionally, to the storyline and images you view

After Studying/Viewing the Documentary:

  • write a personal reflection of how you feel/your thoughts immediately after viewing the film
  • write out questions you have, now that you’ve completed watching it
  • read reviews of the film to check if your reaction is similar to how others received it
  • Tweet comments/reflections out about the documentary
  • make a T-chart and list some of the things you wrote down During Viewing on the left and on the right side expand on why they stood out to you

To prepare for your final assignment, a presentation and informal talk, you’ll need to review and possible rewatch parts of the film for the following:


January 12

ELA A30 Jan 12/17 B16 Arriving in Canada Today

There are discussions online by Canadians who argue Canada should not support as many immigrants as they do and instead spend more money on First Nations needs or address our Homelessness problem.

What is it really like living as an immigrant in Canada today? Are the treatments and attitudes towards them improved over how they were treated in the last 50 years?

There are a few online resources that go along with this next section, exploring what it’s like being an immigrant today in our current society.

CBC Ideas Podcast: In Their Shoes

A Day in the Life of Acsana Fernando – what is it like to step inside an immigrant woman’s daily life activities?


Comparing an Audio Text to a Visual Text: does seeing change how you take in / make connections to a topic?


January 11

ELA 20 Your Future Gender Roles and Values

It has likely been mentioned in class during the last Section’s discussion that, more and more, you as students are recognizing a difference between you, between males and females. Until recently, you may not have been quite aware of different treatments or expectations placed on you because of your gender. If your class participated in the open discussion between girls and guys about dating topics, wanting an honest opinion and perspective from the opposite sex, there is your proof that you’re not in a group as one anymore – that you are two groups of males and females learning together but experiencing lives outside of school that may be quite different from each other.

The last topic explored through literature for us this year is Gender Roles in Your Society/Future.

The roles of men and women in society are often used for comedic purposes. Here are two video parodies of topics that fall under this subject.

There are more consequential examples of the differences of experiences and expectations between males and females in society today. Here are some examples:

    • Twitter Thread: The Downsides of Being a Man
      Read through the Tweets of this Twitter Event after a conversation was started about the challenges of being a man in 2018. 
    • Article – Men Reveal the Difficult Parts of Being Male: men share the difficulty they experience in being male in society.
    • June 2021 A discussion on gender was triggered when some prominent men in the carpentry/construction industry in Canada laughed after a guest on their podcast made comments about catcalling or touching women on worksites. A woman used part of the podcast and created her own video on social media, interjecting statistics of sexual assaults on women. The men of the podcast responded by triggering a 15 million dollar lawsuit against her for damages to their reputation. Others in the construction industry have spoken out and supported the woman, saying there is no room for and should be no acceptance of sexism or misogyny in their field of work.


Gender is a construction – the idea of what it is to be male or manly versus female and feminine in your culture.
This is different than the biological Sex you are born as – male or female.

Lancet-social-media-asset-sex-vs-gender - Beyond Words Studio


There are a number of older and newer documentaries that focus on gender issues for today’s society. Some of these concepts, the way males and females are viewed in society and the construction of these roles, have become established so gradually over time because of your exposure to them that they don’t seem dangerous. The dangers are there and they’re revealed by statistics: the amount of sexual assaults The Best Documentaries on Hulu Right Nowon women or murder/suicides committed by men towards their wives and children, or the amount of steroid users among male teens and high suicide rates for males.


A number of appropriate documentaries have been assembled for you. Some include mature subjects and images, but they have been developed for classroom and educational use. View what you’re comfortable viewing – skip forward if there are upsetting images. You’ll be viewing a documentary on your own, so you have control over your choice and viewing.

There are dangers in being female in our society.
There are dangers in being male in our society.


Documentaries Related to Gender:

  • Tough Guise: looks at the overwhelming evidence connecting violent crime with masculinity as displayed through media. Over 90% of violent crimes are committed by men. Film-maker states “masculinity should be designated as a health hazard” – the influence of it is bad for your health. (53 minutes long)
  • The Mask you Live in: a recent documentary looking at how media and society influence males by a harmful and narrow view of masculinity, leaving young males to navigate a maze of identity issues in order to understand how to be a “real man”. (1 hr 30 minutes)
  • The Codes of Gender: a study of how media constructs the allowable portrayals of males and females through images and representation. These “codes” create what is allowable behaviour for males or females if they want to stay within their gender roles. Through these images, it often contributes to the idea that men are powerful and women are objects. (1hr 12 minutes)
  • The Bystander Moment: studies the role of bystanders in perpetuating sexual harassment and sexual assault contributing to the normalizing of sexism and misogyny. Focusing on the shift following the #metoo movement, it aims to encourage viewers to become active bystanders to help challenge and change sexist cultural norms. (50 minutes)
  • Audrie and Daisy: a look at the trend of young teenage girls in the United States sexually assaulted by their male classmates. It considers the way the justice system responds to/minimizes reports like these and the trend of images/videos of the rapes being posted online as a type of “trophies”. (1hr 30 minutes) Notice: Suicide trigger warning.
  • Miss Representation: (Trailer only) If you have access to view this film, it looks at the media’s role in creating an expectation of women in society as valued only for their beauty, youth, and purity, instead of their roles as leaders in society and culture.
  • Killing us Softly: A look at the use of print media and magazine ads that depict and create the stereotypes of sexist and misogynistic representation of women contributing to violence, eating disorders, and sexism against women.

After you’ve watched your documentaries of choice, you’ll participate in a class group discussion, to share the focus of the documentaries you viewed and personal responses you have as a result.

You’ll soon pick a topic of Inquiry or Research related to gender – a number of topics to consider are posted on the Blog Post that follows this one on the ELA 20 page.


Category: ELA 20 | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 10

ELA 9 Starting Shakespeare – day 2 Getting to Know R & J

Studying any Shakespeare text, especially your first experience of this author’s work, 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 Romeo and Juliet 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?
  2. The play Romeo and Juliet
    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: Gnomeo and Juliet
    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 Feuding Families 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? Which of these, Romeo and/or Juliet, are tragic heros?
  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?
  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.