Tag Archives: Care to Share

Thanksgiving Memories

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This year, I hope to share with you a set of video traditions that have already taken a special place in the hearts of my family, as I’m sure they will in yours.  Of course, they are mostly about food, but be sure to set time aside for that family talking and activities kind of stuff.  There are only so many Thanksgivings.

Now back to food.  Eat it, even if you don’t like it.  Put it on your plate.  Thank you food bringers for caring enough to bring anything.  Bob’s Burgers says it best:

And it’s been covered by the National!

That turkey should not die in vain.

Maybe it’s the gravy that really sets your family Thanksgiving apart.  Bob’s Burgers and The National are here to help us again!

And if you’re still needing to satisfy your family’s quirkiness or willingness to try it all, go Ron Swanson.  If you’ve already satisfied yourself with “the Swanson” – a turkey leg wrapped in bacon – maybe try one of Nick Offerman’s home recipes:

Enjoy!  Best of luck today, tomorrow (for the bold fools who will Black Friday), and this weekend.  See you Monday!

Banned Books Week 2016

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Banned Books Week 2015, courtesy ala.org/bbooks

Banned Books Week 2015, courtesy ala.org/bbooks

Every year, the last week in September becomes the focal point for a concerted effort to celebrate the freedom to read.  In this country, the First Amendment’s right to free speech must contend with a long history of censorship – promoted by individuals, organizations, and government.  Banned Books Week is organized by the American Library Association (ALA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and a host of non-profits, publishers, and legal defense funds.  It is supported by myself, among much of the reading world, and, through this week’s Extra Credit opportunity, by you!

(Check out this cool infographic to learn more: courtesy of Electric Literature)

To receive Extra Credit for Banned Books Week, you must choose one of the following options, and use professional images, symbols, designs, or media:

A) Create a Poster to celebrate the week, using the three requirements below:

B) Create a Handout to share information about banned and challenged books, using these criteria:

  • A list of frequently challenged books (Here’s a resource from the ALA)
  • Reasons why books are often challenged (Resources from the Huffington Post, in 2012 and 2014)
  • A checklist of frequently challenged books – check off as many as you’ve read!

C) Compose a 1 page essay (typed – 12pt font, TNR, double-spaced) on To Kill a Mockingbird as a challenged book.  Why (and where/when) has it frequently been challenged?  What might be ironic about wanting this book censored?  What is your reflection on reading the book – how might you oppose or defend a challenge to this book at our school?

Whichever option you choose, it must be submitted by the end of the week, Friday, September 30.  To be eligible, you must follow the requirements for each option, as well as aim for professional quality (Mom would put it on the fridge, and so would I!).  Successful efforts will be awarded 20pts, and above-average efforts 30pts (each option is worth more than a homework assignment!).  If nothing else, you can celebrate this week by finishing TKAM, and moving on to a new book which, having been published, probably has found someone to challenge it by now!

F(READ)OM!!

Courtesy @BannedBooksWeek on Twitter.

Courtesy @BannedBooksWeek on Twitter.

Mapping the Homeric World

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Image from Eclectic/Eccentric.

Image from Eclectic/Eccentric.

The Odyssey is one of earliest, and best, works in the “big trip” genre, so grand they named half the genre after it!  For freshmen looking to complete a 3D Map for their Odyssey project, here are a few tips.

First – the in-class map is by no means definitive, but has two components that I think are key: an oversized Ithaca and an Underworld far (far) to the west.  You don’t have to reach the Pillars of Heracles, but I like the idea of going to the edge of the known (Mediterranean) world.

Second – use your resources to help you tell the story!  Some of my favorites are on Google Earth (download it if you haven’t – it’s worth it!), especially the Odyssey on Google Lit Trips, which features facts and artwork at the locations in each episode.  Your map doesn’t need to be overly complicated, but consider adding stickers, flags, or figures to keep the travels alive.

Third – you don’t need to use salt dough, but this is a straightforward method to make your map 3D that is both easy and useful!  The video below was made in jazzy style by a very good friend of mine some years ago, and gives you a nice breakdown of the salt dough process.  I definitely expect your map to be in color, so grab the appropriate food coloring to go with it or paint it after it dries (a few days later)!

For Glory!

Bard’s Day, 23rd April 2016 – 452/400

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The Wonder of Will: 400 Years of Shakespeare. Image courtesy of The Folger Shakespeare Library. 2016.

The Wonder of Will: 400 Years of Shakespeare. Image courtesy of The Folger Shakespeare Library. 2016.

If you’ve looked at this page but once, you know that the Bard is a pretty big deal around here.  Today, then, would be remiss without an annual commemoration of his birth/death-day with some extra, added momentum.  The whole world is turning out for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s (bodily) death, with touring productions, social media campaigns, reams of newsprint, and random English teachers’ blog posts.  However, there is one special event that will be making its way to our humble corner of the world later this year.

The Folger Shakespeare Library, located in Washington DC, has 82 copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio.  These items are extraordinarily rare, and unbelievable fragile.  (You can read about the extreme safety precautions the Library takes by checking this link from NPR.)  Published long after his death, the folio contains at least 18 of his plays that would not be known today without these labors of love.  And this year, to honor his everlasting legacy, copies of the Folio will be traveling from the Folger Library out to all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and Wyoming’s temporary host is none other than our own State Museum in downtown Cheyenne!

From Sept 7 – 30, you can see one of these Folios, a repository of some of the greatest words ever penned by the human race, for the price of admission, which is typically FREE!  While a trip to DC may be a prerequisite for American-ness, let’s be honest and say that this opportunity is likely your best bet to join in one of the most important celebrations available to young scholars and citizens of the world.  Rather than leave you with yet another quote or pun on the topic, I think it suffices to let the plays speak loudest.  Do yourself a favor and bask in the (probably musty) glory of all that is wonderful, inventive, and essential by checking it out next Fall!

World War Poetry Posters

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Kitchener, from: 'Your country needs you' advertisement in London Opinion, Vol. XLII No.546, 5 September 1914. British Library.

Kitchener, from: ‘Your country needs you’ advertisement in London Opinion, Vol. XLII No.546, 5 September 1914. British Library.

The following links are meant for the 1st and 4th Hour British Literature classes, but anyone should feel free to follow these them to education (or emptiness).  It may be said that no retelling can ever truly capture the horrors and mindset of warfare.  But artists and authors have to try – sometimes only poetry or paint can communicate the senses and worst fears made real.

WNB#2 (cont.) URLs:

World War Pictures hosts a variety of visual media pertaining to the conflicts: http://www.world-war-pictures.com/

The British Library, again, gives us great multimedia and perspectives on our class content.  The first link, on propaganda, should be used to answer prompt 13.  The second link is extra reading, if you are looking for more perspective on the poems for your posters.

http://www.bl.uk/world-war-one/themes/propaganda

http://www.bl.uk/world-war-one/articles/reframing-first-world-war-poetry 

If you are curious, you could also follow-up with two perspectives on the ubiquity of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” slogan, by Dr. Henry Irving and Owen Hatherley, respectively.

Finally (because why not), here is the trench game from the UK’s National Archives.

Hurrah for the Scarlet and the Blue, and may we never again find ourself in a war to end all wars.

Reading Picks: Headstrong, Radical, Pony People

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Women are awesome!  Some people aren’t aware, apparently.  That’s why March is designated Women’s History Month.  It wouldn’t be a bad thing at all if someday we can collectively remember that history has been made by women, too – so you can do your part by checking out the titles below!

The Princess and the Pony. Kate Beaton. Arthur A. Levine Books. 2015.

The Princess and the Pony. Kate Beaton. Arthur A. Levine Books. 2015.

Kate Beaton is the magnificent wit behind the webcomic series Hark! A Vagrant, which has been printed in a few best-selling books (and also isn’t appropriate for all ages, especially because some killjoys detest constant giggling).  The Princess and the Pony, great for kids and adults, tells the story of Princess Pinecone, who wants a noble warhorse to ride into Viking-style violence.  For her birthday she gets instead a flatulent, rotund pony.  What happens next is funny and feminist.  Available from Scholastic Book Orders for $4!

Rad American Women A-Z. Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl. City Lights. 2015.

Rad American Women A-Z. Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl. City Lights. 2015.

Revolution begins at home!  America may be relatively young on the world stage, but its women have radically changed history.  The 26 women profiled in this book represent science, entertainment, athletics, innovation, exploration – basically all the walks of life that make our country what it is.  Kate Schatz writes the profiles, and Miriam Klein Stahl provides each illustration.  Available from Scholastic for $7, this pocket-sized guide is perfect for bite-sized, yet larger-than-life, world-widening.

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science - and the World. Rachel Swaby. Broadway Books. 2015.

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science – and the World. Rachel Swaby. Broadway Books. 2015.

Rachel Swaby was inspired to write this informative, invigorating collection of women inventors, scientists, and explorers after seeing too many get short shrift in their obituaries.  Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter and – more importantly – the world’s first computer programmer (in the 1840s!), is included.  As is Hedy Lamarr, scintillating movie star and also pioneer in radar technology.  And those are just the most famous faces.  This book captures the sentiment of the women’s history movement succinctly: the stories have been there all along, but someone *forgot* to tell the whole truth.  We owe it to ourselves to fix that.  Read well – it’s the best provision for changing your life.

Spring Break!(?)! and Some Games to Busy Your Time

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Southeast Wyoming hasn't changed much since then...

Southeast Wyoming hasn’t changed much since then…

Hope the no-wifi game isn’t the only thing to keep you entertained over your unexpected break!  If internet has been restored (which I am assuming to be true, as you are reading this post…), be sure to e-mail me any missing assignments – SWRPapers, Unit 5 Reflective Essays, Annotated Bibliographies – because the 3rd Quarter is over!  All grades are final on Tuesday.  If I don’t have it then, there’s not much I can do.

For more fun and games, why don’t you check out this sweet game my wife made for one of her classes.  It serves as Shakespeare Connections/Exploration Amazingness!  No extra credit is being offered as of yet, but maybe you can earn a “Super Awesome” Prize if you solve the puzzle!

sploder

http://www.sploder.com/?s=d004w1ct

Shakespeare Test on The Ides of March!

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Violent delights have violent ends!

Violent delights have violent ends!

This message is intended for the freshmen classes!  I wanted to share a few wonderful resources from a 3rd Hour Shakespeare’s World Research presentation today.  As you may remember, there is a veritable slew (slew!) of subjects included on Tuesday’s Ides Test.  These great four links help fill in general knowledge of Shakespeare’s life and works.

Here’s a link to a brief timeline of the life of Stratford’s most famous son:

http://www.earlyshakespeare.com/images/Timeline.pdf


 

 

This YouTube video takes a humorous look at introducing Shakespeare (make sure you stick around until the ironic, slow open is over):


 

Of course, here’s the Canadian Folio copy of the play:

http://www.canadianshakespeares.ca/folio/folio.html


 

And, because why not, more awesomeness relating to the Bard from a 2012 TEDxTalk:

The Readiness is All!

Apple Pickin’

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I’m trying to keep this site focused on cool class content and notices, and I certainly don’t want to come across as a braggart here.  Enough people, however, have asked me about my Golden Apple Award that I figured I would put it up for those interested.  You should definitely check out all of the amazing educators who make a difference in our community at http://www.kgwn.tv/station/misc/Golden-Apple-Winners-248244001.html, but here is the video of one schmuck who snuck in.  Special thanks and credit to all of 7th Hour seniors who provided such nice bribes thoughts, as well as the wonderful wife who helps me get tech-y with videos and nonesuch.


PS – Special thanks to Jace’s hat, too.  That hat.

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