The number one request in wishlists sent to Mr. Earnshaw’s North Pole Classroom Blog? More videos from Bob’s Buskers (from Bob’s Burgers)! So here you go – the National, a Christmas Tree, and a message we can all get behind. Stay warm, students and friends; happy holidays!
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!
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:
- Include the title Banned Books Week, in flashy color/font to catch the attention of passerby
- Include a quote about censorship from one of these videos: #I Read Banned Books – Teens Speak Out & 13 Authors Speak Out
- Include suggestions on how to celebrate Banned Books Week in school or at home
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!
That’s all folks! Another school year complete, I want to thank you for the advice, participation, suggestions, and giggles you gave me in and out of class in this site’s debut. Feel free to check in this summer, as I’ll post the occasional snapshot of my life during break. Plenty to look forward to in the fall – great reading, Google Classroom, new “district assessments”, and another chance for the best school year ever – but for now, I’m satisfied to sit back and summer it up. Hope you do the same! Stay safe, be good. See ya ’round! – Mr. E
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!
by Edna St. Vincent Millay, (1892-1950)
The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.
All night there isn’t a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.
My heart is warm with friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.
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:
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:
And, because why not, more awesomeness relating to the Bard from a 2012 TEDxTalk:
The Readiness is All!
Spring may be around the corner, or maybe there’s another big winter storm on the way. At least we know we’ll always have the wind! Wind up with these tunes – some oldies, some goodies, and a crew of Celtic crush.
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Learning to Fly
- Traditional – Tim Finnegan’s Wake
- Adele – Rumour Has It
- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Death to My Hometown
- Jack White – I’m Shakin’
- The Head and the Heart – Shake
- Máire Brennan – Against the Wind
- Mumford & Sons – Hopeless Wanderer
- Brigham Phillips – Will Ye Go Lassie Go
- Talking Heads – Wild Wild Life
- Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments
- Hal Ketchum – Past the Point of Rescue
- Evan Dando – Hard Drive
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday
- Green Day feat. U2 – The Saints Are Coming
- Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl
- Traditional – The Jolly Beggar
- Will Millar – The Wild Galway Races
- The Fratellis – Flathead
- Dropkick Murphys – Fields of Athenry
- Natalie Merchant – Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience
- Gheorghe Zamfir – The Lonely Shepherd
- Men at Work – I Come From a Land Down Under
- Tegan and Sara – Where Does the Good Go
- Frank Turner – Recovery
- The Hooters – And We Danced
- The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done
- The Black Keys – Little Black Submarines
- The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses
- War Horse Soundtrack – Learning to Plough
- Dropkick Murphys feat. Bruce Springsteen – Peg O’ My Heart
It’s a Leap Year, so take a deep breath and then make some big leaps this month! Here’s a list to get you started.
- Dire Straits – Romeo and Juliet
- Del Amitri – Roll To Me
- April Smith and the Great Picture Show – Movie Loves a Screen
- Lynden David Hall – All You Need Is love
- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – No Surrender
- Eric Bibb – Shine On
- The Avett Brothers – February Seven
- Preservation Hall Jazz Band – Go To The Mardi Gras
- David Mead – Girl on the Roof
- Gin Wigmore – Black Sheep
- Matt Costa – Mr. Pitiful
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Breakdown
- Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy
- The Figgs – Je T’Adore
- Lyle Lovett – Private Conversation
- The Cure – The Love Cats
- Lenka – Trouble Is a Friend
- Elton John – Your Song
- The White Stripes – Fell In Love With A Girl
- Mirah – The Garden
- The Musicians of Swanne Alley – Green Sleeves (Traditional)
- Dawes – A Little Bit of Everything
- Queen – Somebody to Love
- Dido – White Flag
- Fool’s Garden – Lemon Tree
- The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
- Firefall – You Are The Woman
- Annette Louisan – Das Spiel (Ich Will Doch Nur Spielen)
- Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds
- Tornado Brass Band (Various NOLA Street Guys) – Bye Bye Blackbird
- Across the Universe Soundtrack – All You Need Is Love
A new year and a new playlist, with old songs and auld Scots swing!
- The Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)
- Mick Harvey – Out Of Time Man
- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
- KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See
- Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks
- Lord Huron – Ends Of The Earth
- The Avett Brothers – January Wedding
- Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
- Rock Mafia – The Big Bang
- Lenka – Trouble Is A Friend
- Mumford & Sons – Winter Winds
- U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
- The War On Drugs – Come To The City
- Trio – Da Da Da
- Michael Jackson – Beat It
- The Contours – Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)
- Cascada feat. Carlprit – Evacuate The Dance Floor
- The Raspberries – Go All The Way
- Dance of the Dumfrieshire Dwarves (Traditional)
- Peter Bjorn And John feat. Victoria Bergsman – Young Folks
- Amy Macdonald – This Is The Life
- First Aid Kit – Winter Is All Over You
- Paul Simon – Graceland
- 10,000 Maniacs – Trouble Me
- Scotland the Brave (Traditional)
- The White Stripes – St. Andrew (This Battle Is In The Air)
- Joe Purdy – Can’t Get It Right Today
- Laura Marling – The Captain And The Hourglass
- Barenaked Ladies – Sound of Your Voice
- Boy & Bear – Southern Sun
- Big Country – In A Big Country
- Dead Man Fall – Bang Your Drum