Tag: Storytelling

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.

Admin Class Resources Reading Picks

She shall be Rose the Destroyer!

May this be your month!  To keep the classroom humming productively for the next four long weeks, this month’s playlist is a nice mix of thumpin’ seasonal picks, an Odyssey-themed setlist, and a summer concert series that I’m personally looking forward to.  What will you do this month to make summer worth the wait?

  1. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – The Waiting
  2. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z – Umbrella
  3. OMC – How Bizarre
  4. Tori Kelly – Nobody Love
  5. Summer Camp – Down
  6. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Darlington County
  7. The Kingsmen – Louie Louie
  8. Nashville Cast – The Book
  9. Dawes – From a Window Seat
  10. Shiny Toy Guns – Earth Below Us
  11. Christodoulos Halaris – Hymn to the Muse (Trad.)
  12. David Bowie – Heroes
  13. The Lively Ones – Surf Rider
  14. AWOLNATION – Sail
  15. Mumford & Sons – The Cave
  16. The Alarm – The Stand
  17. The Pretty Reckless – Heaven Knows
  18. The Strumbellas – Spirits
  19. Leon Bridges – Smooth Sailin’
  20. Chet Faker – Gold
  21. Adele – Water Under the Bridge
  22. Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch (O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack) – I’ll Fly Away
  23. Tom Waits – Long Way Home
  24. M83 – Midnight City
  25. The Avett Brothers – Live and Die
  26. Nahko and the Medicine for the People – San Quentin
  27. Gary Clark Jr. – When My Train Pulls In
  28. Trampled By Turtles – Come Back Home
  29. Lord Huron – The Man Who Lives Forever
  30. Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean – Hips Don’t Lie
  31. The Wallflowers – One Headlight

Admin Playlists

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.

Reading Picks Threads

It may not be easy, but it's keen to be green.
It may not be easy, but it’s keen to be green.

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.

  1. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Learning to Fly
  2. Traditional – Tim Finnegan’s Wake
  3. Adele – Rumour Has It
  4. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Death to My Hometown
  5. Jack White – I’m Shakin’
  6. The Head and the Heart – Shake
  7. Máire Brennan – Against the Wind
  8. Mumford & Sons – Hopeless Wanderer
  9. Brigham Phillips – Will Ye Go Lassie Go
  10. Talking Heads – Wild Wild Life
  11. Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments
  12. Hal Ketchum – Past the Point of Rescue
  13. Evan Dando – Hard Drive
  14. U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday
  15. Green Day feat. U2 – The Saints Are Coming
  16. Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl
  17. Traditional – The Jolly Beggar
  18. Will Millar – The Wild Galway Races
  19. The Fratellis – Flathead
  20. Dropkick Murphys – Fields of Athenry
  21. Natalie Merchant – Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience
  22. Gheorghe Zamfir – The Lonely Shepherd
  23. Men at Work – I Come From a Land Down Under
  24. Tegan and Sara – Where Does the Good Go
  25. Frank Turner – Recovery
  26. The Hooters – And We Danced
  27. The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done
  28. The Black Keys – Little Black Submarines
  29. The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses
  30. War Horse Soundtrack – Learning to Plough
  31. Dropkick Murphys feat. Bruce Springsteen – Peg O’ My Heart

Playlists

Wookie Winter Wonderland
Wookie Winter Wonderland

December – melodies, medleys, and more than a little wassail.

  1. John Williams – Star Wars Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner
  2. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
  3. Mannheim Steamroller – God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
  4. Lord Huron – Fool for Love
  5. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – The Silent Nutcracker
  6. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – A Mad Russian’s Christmas
  7. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Born to Run
  8. Wolfmother – Vagabond (500) Days of Summer Soundtrack)
  9. Mannheim Steamroller – Los Peces En El Rio
  10. Ryn Weaver – OctaHate
  11. Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen
  12. Frank Sinatra – Come Fly With Me
  13. Ed Sheerhan – I See Fire (The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Soundtrack)
  14. Danny Elfman – What’s This? (The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack)
  15. Kansas – Play The Game Tonight
  16. Among Savages – New York City
  17. Coldplay – Christmas Lights
  18. The Devil Makes Three – Dynamite
  19. Mick Jagger and Joss Stone – Lonely Without You (This Christmas) (Alfie Soundtrack)
  20. Elton John – Levon
  21. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Wizards In Winter
  22. Eagles – Please Come Home For Christmas
  23. Dar Williams – Are You Out There
  24. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24
  25. Mannheim Steamroller – God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  26. Capital Cities – Safe and Sound
  27. Van Morrison – Bright Side Of The Road
  28. John Lee Hooker – Bluebird
  29. Tom Waits – Cold Cold Ground
  30. She & Him – Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want (500) Days of Summer Soundtrack)
  31. Shivaree – Goodnight Moon (Kill Bill Vol. 2 Soundtrack)
  32. The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)
  33. Barenaked Ladies – Auld Lang Syne

Playlists

Open at the DMNS until the end of January
Open at the DMNS until the end of January

http://www.dmns.org/the-international-exhibition-of-sherlock-holmes/

“The Game is Afoot!” – as you will be reminded every ten minutes or so in your exploration of the latest traveling exhibit to hit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  I had the privilege to visit on Halloween this year, and will do my best to sell this experience briefly and with only the facts.  It’s the sequel to Power of Poisonwith an added, overt literary connection.  What’s more, this exhibit also is quite hands-on, with enough diversity for any visitor.  So read on, dear traveler, for the evidence of a great adventure and fabulous rewards with Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective!

Welcome to Sherlock's London!
Welcome to Sherlock’s London!

This is a ticketed exhibit, meaning there is an extra fee besides admission as well as a certain time-slot you are to attend within.  Taking up a sprawling space within this incredible building, the Sherlock Holmes exhibit is cross-curricular, diabolical delight.  Literary history and influence, forensics and the influential experiments of Victorian science, pop culture studies, and hands-on experimentation are all wrapped up in good, old-fashioned mystery.  Each guest gets a notebook to record their observations, learning more about the culture and social strata of Victorian London along the way.  The notebook itself is packed with clues and winking allusions to the great detective.

Every detective needs a notebook
Every detective needs a notebook!

The first section is literary, filled with interesting artifacts and media covering inspiration and influence – including Poe, serial publication, high profile murder, and the emblematic energies of the British Empire at its height.  Following this area, searchers find themselves in a reproduction of 221 B Baker Street.  Here, details and easter eggs from the many cases of Holmes and Watson are hidden throughout.  The next room holds the highlight for many visitors – the case study.  Investigators are asked, by Holmes, to help solve a mystery involving five deductive/inductive exercises – hands-on stations pertaining to the bullet, the seed, the footprints, the newspaper, and the suspicion of murder.  You may occasionally be harassed helped by overzealous  museum guides – some dressed in Victorian personas – trying to move the investigation along.  To avoid some of the crowds, arriving early is a must, and you might have more space to your own sleuthing without considerate peeping by that most troublesome occurrence – other people.

Staying one step ahead...
Staying one step ahead…

Following your (hopefully) accurate conclusions, the mystery is solved and visitors get one last peek at their favorite incarnations of Holmes, from Basil Rathbone and The Great Mouse Detective to Downey Jr., Cumberbatch, and Lucy Liu’s Watson.  The gift shop is also quite inviting, but you might check with me to see what I already purchased so you won’t have to (basically the whole store).  There are, of course, great sales-pitches here for any of your teachers’ field trip needs, but if unable to go as a class you have until the end of January to make your own visit.  There is also a teens-only event on November 21st: Sherlockian Clue: Museum Edition.  Extra credit will rain down upon you after any visit (and maybe a project grade for the BritLit seniors), but especially for anyone who can attend this special event.  In summary, this is definitely one of the coolest exhibits to ever reach our area, and you can revisit Power of Poison while you’re there!  Investigate Sherlock before it vanishes into the fog of the gaslamps.  Elementary, indeed.

The Continuing Adventures
The Continuing Adventures

Field Trips Uncategorized

DeltaRae

It’s the season of suspenseful storytelling, with an emphasis on imaginative yarns and wanderings through folklore.  Here are some of the videos from class, by your request, that captured through digital wizardry (a most mysterious magic) the senses, tales, and spine-tingling thrills of the school year in October.

Intro to Literature: “The Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae

The song you can’t escape from, no matter how far the river takes you.  Perhaps one of the greatest music videos out there, not least of which in the terrible joy of ambiguity.

Brit. Lit – The Middle Ages: “The Canterbury Tales: Part I”, from Christmas Films, Pizzazz Pictures, and Right Angle.

These episodes aired on the BBC in 1998-2000, excerpting highlights from Chaucer with inventive animation swings.  Not for the faint-hearted or tidy-minded, but then, a lot of the fun stuff from different historical eras isn’t.

Part II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep6tvT3NQ_o

Part III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCq6117mYqg

 

ENGL 1010: Facundo the Great! from StoryCorps

The now-epic story of a stand-up guy who made room for others to stand up.  Keep checking out the StoryCorps animated features and other site items.  The Great Thanksgiving Listen is coming up soon! https://storycorps.me/about/the-great-thanksgiving-listen/

Thanks for reading/watching.  Now, get to work!

12th Grade: European Literature 9th Grade: Intro to Literature Class Resources ENG1010: Concurrent Enrollment Threads

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Here are 31 spirited songs for the 31 days of October.  Listen to one a day, tell me how mine plays in full (just over two hours), or shuffle your own!

  1. Delta Rae – Bottom of the River
  2. Tom Waits – Little Drop of Poison
  3. Bruce Springsteen – The Ghost of Tom Joad
  4. The Coral – Dreaming of You
  5. The Avett Brothers – Paul Newman Vs. the Demons
  6. Disney’s The Haunted Mansion – Grim Grinning Ghosts
  7. Mannheim Steamroller – Rock & Roll Graveyard
  8. Queen – Killer Queen
  9. The White Stripes – Little Ghost
  10. Meat Loaf – Bad for Good
  11. Hunters & Collectors – Holy Grail
  12. Laura Marling – Ghosts
  13. Ron Sexsmith – Comrades Fill No Glass For Me
  14. Tears for Fears – Mad World
  15. The National – Anyone’s Ghost
  16. Bright Eyes – We Are Nowhere (And Its Now)
  17. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – People Ain’t No Good
  18. KT Tunstall – Girl & The Ghost
  19. Van Morrison – Moondance
  20. Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London
  21. Ella Henderson – Ghost
  22. Shakey Graves w/ Esmé Patterson – Dearly Departed
  23. Jack White – That Black Bat Licorice
  24. Holy Ghost Tent Revival – Alpha Dogs
  25. Sweet – The Ballroom Blitz
  26. Róisín Murphy – Night of the Dancing Flame
  27. JBM – Winter Ghosts
  28. Elvis Costello (Ghost Brothers of Darkland County Soundtrack) – That’s Me
  29. Janelle Monáe – Dance Apocalyptic
  30. Mumford & Sons – Ghosts That We Knew
  31. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Theme from Swan Lake

Playlists

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!

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 this video provided by Simon & Schuster Books: Celebrate the Freedom to Read
  • 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 day Thursday, October 1.  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!!

Admin Class Resources Reading Picks

Illustration by Vladimir Radunsky, from On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne (see BrainPickings link below)
Illustration by Vladimir Radunsky, from On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne (see BrainPickings link below)

First Day of Fall!  A Happy Birthday to the Boss, a fond farewell to Yogi Berra (even though he signed with the Empire of Evil) and some links to ponder.  It’s important, especially for those of us living in a seemingly-remote corner of the world…(They say there are things to do, and I think that there are things to do, but students still tell me there’s “nothing to do”.  Doesn’t seem to equate more homework getting done…).  Anyway, it’s important for those of us who live in insular societies to join the larger world.  No one’s experiences are in isolation!  We as human beings are all part of a larger, circular order to criss-crossing paths and degrees of separation.  Like a spider’s web, movement on one end of our connective tissue affects somebody else.  I call posts like these “Threads” to connote this link up.  Here are some helpful links to get you up to date on food for thought and shout-outs to glory.

Burns, Wyoming’s First All-Girls FTC Robotics Team! – Marissa, et al are taking extracurriculars to new heights and radioactive, fan girl awesomeness.  Geronimo, allons-y and all that!

Brain Pickings! – Curated by Maria Popova, this all-learning, all-the-time resource from the greatest minds on happiness, intelligence, serenity, adventures, and the benefits of being alive.  This is a great site I visit frequently (sign-up for the newsletter to get a weekly rundown!) that informs my reading, teaching, and all-around efforts to share genius and mindfulness.  Excelsior!

Here are some of my favorites to get you started:

The Importance of Leisure in a Workaholic Society

Amanda Palmer Recounts Neil Gaiman’s Philosophical Dream

Fifteen Inspiring Picture Books Celebrating Famous Thinkers

Finally, the Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: all your holiday shopping, from Halloween to Valentine’s Day and back!

Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for Extra Credit opportunities here soon!

Admin Class Resources