February 28

ELA B30 Developing Essay Writing Skills – Transitions Between Paragraphs

Some of the basics of developing the typical keyhole essay have been established for you all.Image result for transitions We’re able, then, to focus on more advanced and specific elements of developing your essay writing. In particular, many of you can improve how smoothly a reader flows through your writing, more easily following your line of thinking between the paragraphs. To improve this, you must develop stronger transitions between your paragraphs that guide the reader through the parts of your argument and shows the connections between the paragraph ideas. 

Many of you have developed a strength in writing good topic sentences.

What you must do now is develop the transitions that precede them to link one paragraph idea to the next.

Some essay samples are provided below.
They range in quality of whether they have these transitions between paragraphs. Some are basic/redundant (first, second, third), some miss these transitions entirely and only have topic sentences, while others have developed both the topic sentence and the transition to accompany it. See if you can rate them in order of basic to advanced.



















































































February 15

ELA 9 B7 AR Reflecting on R&J Unit Study

We’re officially finished studying Romeo and Juliet! Before we move on, you have a few things to look back on and identify some things about your learning through it.Image result for reflection meme

  1. Reflecting on the fact that you studied and did some online research to learn about Shakespeare and specifically the play of Romeo and Juliet before we started reading it together, what are your thoughts on that process or method of beginning this text study?
  2. How do you think it changed your experience of Romeo and Juliet, having studied it and learned so much about it before reading it together? Give one specific example to help support your perspective.
  3. Would you recommend for other students in the future to go through the step of studying Shakespeare and the play elements before reading it? Explain the reasoning for your answer. Pick one – yes you’d recommend it or no you wouldn’t.
  4. You journaled as Romeo immediately after he killed Tybalt and lost his friend Mercutio. Explain how you felt completing that journalling, first person writing: challenging, easy enough, a breeze? Explain what about it made it this way for you?
  5. Our debates: You’ve completed many other debates before, you’d shared. How was this debate any different from the others you’ve done previously, or was it different? If it was, in what way was it different? What parts of the planning work helped prepare you for the actual exchange of the debate?
  6. How do you feel your performance of your debate related to your preparation of the debate?
    (Ex: I prepared a lot but performed poorly; it might have been because….. )
    (Ex: I didn’t prepare much, but performed really well; it might have been because….)
  7. What new elements of developing a presentation have you learned from preparing your Comparison Project? List two specific elements you tried that were different from what you’ve done before and how you felt they worked for you in the end.
  8. Are you becoming more comfortable with speaking projects and activities? Explain.
February 14

Psych 30 1.4 Inquiry Search Topics

We’ve just been studying the differences between Nature and Nurture (both physical and social components) and are about to discuss in more detail the use of identical twins for studies on development. Image result for identical twin gif

Here are a few resources to look into before we go through this section:

  1. Mandatory: Look/read through this National Geographic article on Twins: Alike But Not Alike. It explains how science is correction the notion that identical twins are 100% the same.
  2. Optional Topics to Inquire About:
    1. Twin Transfusion Syndrome
    2. Epigenetics
    3. Sperm of older males – what is being discovered about it
    4. Human Genome Study – genetic enhancements and its ethics
    5.  Read/skim through this article Identical Strangers about 35 year old identical twins who were purposely separated at birth in an effort to study twin nature and nurture influences.
    6. Behavioural Genetics – studies, ethical concerns that are ongoing

February 9

ELA 9 Comparing Presentation Samples: Good/Bad Characteristics

What does it take to develop a visual presentation that draws an audience in and engages them?


One of your Comprehend and Respond curriculum objectives is to recognize the Textual Features of different genres, including Presentations. Since you will soon be making your own Presentations, it’s helpful for you to compare project samples to identify what they’ve done well and what can be improved on.

The Curriculum Objectives you are practicing are:

  • CR 9.3b Use textual cues/conventions to construct meaning, monitor understanding, and confirm meaning.
    • Textual Cues:
      • recognize and explain how structures and text features can work to shape understanding including:
        • text features: headings, diagrams, columns or charts, sidebars, images, colours of background, colours and size of font, organization of text on the page, amount of information used per page, etc.
        • recognize organizational patterns within texts: chronological sequencing versus compare and contrast organization.

Look through these presentation examples. What qualities of them do you notice are positive and negative?

B7.4.1 Comparing Presentation Techniques

Developing your own Comparison Presentation satisfies these curriculum objectives:

  • Compose and Create 9.3b 
    • Use proper before, during, and after strategies for representing
    • Use Textual codes and conventions to create organization and sequencing of information in a presentation.
  • Compose and Create 9.5a
    • create and present a variety of visual and multimedia presentations to best represent message for an intended audience and purpose.
    • 9.5b analyze, organize, and convert information for different formats (charts, graphs, drawings, and organizers)
    • 9.5c communicate using resources as overhead projector, computers, recorders, and other presentation software.

What makes a good presentation? Read below for some basics.

9 Tips for an Effective Presentation #infographic


February 7

ELA 9 Feb 7/17 Outline to Prepare for Comparison Presentation

You’ve watched two or three video representations of the play, Romeo and Juliet. You’re going to analyze the versions you’ve seen to identify similarities or preferences in how the different films constructed things like character dynamics through their choice in costume, casting certain actors etc.Image result for comparison

This outline is to be used as a guide to help you plan for your Comparison Presentation. There is also a ladder at the back of the handout to help you organize how many slides and in what order you’ll put together your presentation.

B7.4 Planning Comparison Presentation

February 7

ELA B10: Feb 7/17 Exposure to Sketchnoting

You’re soon going to listen to an interesting podcast that looks at the scientific background of “Race”; it explores the question of whether race actually exists, beyond the Human Race.

Your task, while listening to that podcast, will be to follow along and sketchnote your understanding of the audio. You likely haven’t tried creating a sketchnote visual before, though, so you’ll need to understand what it’s about and how to use the symbols best to your advantage.

The number one thing to understand, though, is that this is low risk – there’s no “right” or “wrong” in trying this. You’re going to give something new a try and see how it suits you and your style of learning.

For some exposure to sketchnoting, then, there are a few YouTube tutorials you can use to learn a bit about it and the technique.



Podcast Listening Activity: Radiolab Race Doesn’t Exist, or Does it?

February 2

ELA 9 Feb 2-5/17 Comparison Viewing – Selecting a Second R&J Text

You’ve already watched and analyzed the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet, cast with Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes as the leads. Some of you could identify elements of that film interpretation that you liked, but for the most part many of you disliked that film version.

The next part of our R & J study is to select a second video text and complete the same analysis as your previous watching activity. You will eventually compare your notes from the two films you’ve watched and create a visual presentation of your findings/conclusions.

Options for Viewing # 2: There are lots!
We talked previously about the option of watching exact replicas of the Romeo and Juliet story or watching an adaptation of the original Shakespeare play. Whichever you prefer, it’s your choice.

Option A: Exact Replicas: formatted from movies and stage versions


 Television Version (Part 1 & 2)


Stage/Live Performance Version 1


Stage/Live Performance Version 2


Movie Version 2013


Adapted Versions: in movie format
You’ll need your Substitute Teacher to Log In to YouTube for you. 


February 1

ELA 9 Feb 1/17 Three Topics to Debate

It’s important after reading this play and watching a first sample of the film that you consider some open-ended question that have no exact answer. Without a true answer, the conclusions we come to as a class must be hashed out and debated.

The three questions we’ll discuss and find a conclusion to are:

  1. Who is the most honourable person in this play? (They would be the person to display the best characteristics.)
  2. Which character makes the worst decision in the play? (They’d be the decision that leads to the worst outcome.)
  3. Who is ultimately responsible for the tragedy that ends the play? (A single person we can agree is the ultimate cause of it.)
  • To mull over these questions initially, you can work through your responses with a partner or small group.
  • We will regroup, talk through what our initial reactions are to these questions, narrow our list of characters down for each question and then establish groups/sides for our ultimate debate.
  • Those sides/groups will then have to prepare arguments FOR their side of the debate topic as well as plan Defence AGAINST the expected arguments of the other side.


Image result for critical thinking