October 13

Oct 13: ELA A10 Example of using your voice during poetry “performance”…

Your next assignment is to “perform” a poem. I put that in quotations because I want to emphasize this point; you’re not just reading it, but you have to include emotion and power through your voice. This isn’t easily done and it will certainly take you outside your comfort zone.

As an example of the type of emotion and voice range you can/should attempt to develop in your poetry performance, listen to this video below focusing on the narrator’s use of voice. This copy here is for those of you who want to watch it as well.

Listening to poems performed: this website has many samples of people performing poetry to give examples of the rhythm, the emotion, the plays on sounds of words, the soft and loud, etc. You could listen to some as inspiration before your own recorded performance.

Practicing Speaking/Performing Poetry: 

Listen to Poetry website – listen to poems performed

Finding Your Own Poem: 

PoemHunter.com – many poems here of different topics so search through

If you’re stuck and looking for some options for poems to select from, here are a random selection that suit the assignment:
Note: I want you to avoid selecting a poem that has an audio recording with it of someone performing it. You need to decide and plan for yourself your interpretation of how this poem should be performed: the mood, the slow and fast parts, the emphasis on certain words or word sounds, etc.

The End of Science Fiction

On a Dying Earth (rhyming lines)

More Dangerous Air (sarcastic play on waiting for the Atomic bomb to drop)

Ritmo/Rhythm (girl makes music out of old things)

Meeting Point (obscure meaning – challenging)


October 8

Oct 8: ELA 10 To finish watching “The Village”…

We spent class for the last two days watching a psychological thriller. It wasn’t the type of gore or horror movie I think some of you are used to, but the “unknown” element throughout the movie was disturbing. In today’s viewing, there was a bit of actual violence that made you sad: “He can’t die!”.

There’re about 10 minutes of the movie left to watch. It’s on YouTube if you’d like to finish it this weekend! Enjoy a great Thanksgiving with your families!


September 29

ELA A10 / Psych 20: Sept 29 What you missed …

It was Driver Training day again today, so we had only 6 students together for our Gr 10 classes (ELA and Psych). Instead of moving forward leaving absent students with difficult homework to complete, I altered the work for today to lighten your homework load.

If you were away today, you need to do the following before tomorrow’s classes:

ELA A10: Instead of doing “The Raven” I informed the 6 students about the next assignment to come. They spent the class (and now it’s on you for homework) to find a poem that would fit our Mystery / Dark / Goth type genre that’s at least 12 lines long, and of an appropriate difficulty level. You will have to do a poetry oral presentation with this in the coming weeks. Search online – find a poem that suits the characteristics. Do this by Thursday. 

Psych 20: We reviewed our discussion of Ethics of Psychology Experiments (Section 1.4.0) and went through the 5 rules for Human ethics and 3 rules for Animal Ethics. You need to watch this video to catch up.  It’s 27 minutes long. 

We discussed again images like the ones to the below. Studies have proven that anyone in a role of authority, without supervision of that authority, will eventually abuse and manipulate that authority. The true life example is the Prisoner Abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison, like we talked about a few classes ago. These guards aren’t bad people or “bad apples”, but have started behaving badly because of their environment (or the “bad barrel” for good apples).

ELA A10 Repeater period 6: We also decided it would be easier for you to catch up homework-wise if we did a double Psych today while you were gone and replace it with a double ELA tomorrow. To catch up with this, you need to watch these videos (below) before class on Thursday. 

Behaviour Experiments Documentary: Part 1 – 3  (Click the image to play the video)

Hope you enjoyed the day of learning!
September 24

ELA A10 Sept 20 – 25 What you missed…

If you were away this week for ELA A10:

  • A3 Assignment: (Mon – Wed) We spent the majority of the week’s classes with students developing their written narrative stories that will be presented later next week. The students put the characteristics directed by the curriculum into categories for proposed rubrics; one for speaking and one for writing. They then voted on them and have picked their assessment rubrics. I’ll print them and share them soon. With your writing and plan for your presentation method, though, make sure you’ve covered and included all the following (see image).
    Note: I said you could pre-record your performance of your dramatic narrative, but you still have to plan for all the characteristics to be evaluated, like gestures, etc. Recording it in advance allows you more control over how polished your performance is, too.
  • A4 The Raven (Thursday / Friday) – a world famous poem study! We’re going to study another title by Edgar Allen Poe, who also wrote “The Tell Tale Heart”. To start that discussion, I asked students to consider what’s possible through creativity and imagination. They worked in groups and identified both positive and negative things that have resulted from this.
      • We then started looking specifically at “The Raven” poem and I pointed out that Poe originally considered using an Owl as the center of the poem instead of a Raven. Students split into two halves of the room to research briefly the symbols associated with Owls vs those associated with Ravens. They shared their findings with the other group and all students wrote answers in. What we discovered is that both birds have symbolic qualities that would fit with Poe’s genre of dark, mysterious, unbalanced writing. We watched a video, too, of a Raven that’s been trained to speak; I asked the question of them and I’ll pose it to you…
        • if one bird can speak and the other cannot, how do you think that may limit a poem written focused on an Owl and how might it open possibilities for one based on a Raven?

    • Then we got to it! I had a 50 pack 0f Timbits I promised as a prize to the group that could re-assemble a stanza of a poem when given all the words to it and a description of the characteristics. Their words had to create a six line stanza, include internal rhyme in line 1, internal rhyme shared between lines 3 &4, and the end words of lines 2, 4,5 & 6 were all similar. They sure tried, but the bell went before anyone really got close!


September 16

ELA A10 Sept 16, 2015 What you missed in class…

If you were away for Driver’s Training today, this is what we did in class without you. You’ll be expected to complete these steps at some point. Tomorrow, we’ll be continuing on so to catch up you could do the missed work tonight.

  1. We discussed the work you did as groups the last few days
    • identifying signs the narrator was insane (his repetition of words and phrases_
    • times when readers have to question the author’s perspective (thinking neighbours would be able to hear the old man’s heart beating)
    • we didn’t specifically look at Rising Action events, but mentioned the story starts out with tension established by even the first few lines (“True! — nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous”) as well as stating the narrator “made up [his] mind to take the life of the old man”.
    • We discussed the climax moment – it is just between the last paragraph and first word of the last line. (“hark! louder! louder! louder! louder! – – ‘Villains!” I shrieked”)
  2. We talked through the three questions lower on the page:
    • Questions you had after / while reading the text
    • style of the author to make a great reading experience
    • what you can “know” and what you “think you know”
  3. To Do: We then jumped to a viewing activity. I have three visual representations of “The Tell Tale Heart” for us to view. You’ll be watching / listening / observing them to compare:
    • the narrator’s use of voice
    • character motions / movement
    • visual effects used to enhance mood
    • sounds used / sound effects and music
      • There’s a chart in the handout attached. If you want to watch these videos and fill in some details for these (above) characteristics before class tomorrow, you’ll have caught up and be ready to move on with the group.Handout: Use the chart on page 4: A3 The Value of Imagination – Tell Tale Heart
    • These are the three videos we are watching to compare (below)
    • When you watch, try listening without viewing for the first few minutes, to really focus on the voice and sounds.



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June 22

The Reading – The literature for your final exam

As mentioned, you get some of your literature in advance of the final on Tuesday. There will be questions related to the short story and your choice of one of the two poems. There will be a third poem, which you will not see in advance, in order to test your ability to find examples of figurative language and devices in a poem, rather than look them up while studying and memorize them!

The story is quite cool! What did you think of it after reading it?!

ela literature

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January 19

Using Transitions

Activity for students: The following sentences are about the same topic, transitions, but they do not flow well at all. Rewrite the same paragraph but make it your own and create a smooth flow by including transitions to guide the reader through the ideas. Post your paragraph both as a comment to this one and on your own blog. If you can, highlight in yellow the parts that are transitions.


Writing can seem choppy. The sentences don’t seem to fit together. Readers are not engaged by that type of writing. Sentences can be in the same paragraph if they share a topic. Paragraphs should be about more than a shared topic. People use transitions when they speak. It comes naturally. People who read a lot use transitions naturally. Other people struggle with them. It is a skill that has to be practiced. It can be developed. The benefits are huge.

December 5

Writing an Introductory Paragraph

After having written the three body paragraphs, it is time to write the Introductory paragraph. Several students were missing today, so we recorded this instruction as well. We wrote an intro for our Chrysalids (influences on David) paragraph. Your paragraph will be similar but should not copy any parts of this one.


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