Romeo and Juliet is finally here! I wanted to share a few wonderful resources to keep you on track during our reading, including a few winners from last year’s Shakespeare’s World Research presentations (hint hint). As you may remember, there is a veritable slew (slew!) of information to keep track of. It’s all worth it though! Remember, we don’t agree with Plato – art isn’t useless! Look at what Lady Gaga pulled off in yesterday’s Super Bowl:
Theatrical skills can really pay off later! These great four links help fill in general knowledge of Shakespeare’s life and works. Also, although it’s a little early to be thinking about it, you can expect some potential Unit Test items below…
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 we use in class:
And, because why not, more awesomeness relating to the Bard from a 2012 TEDxTalk:
The Readiness is All!
Welcome back students! Distract yourself from the hazardous, wintry roads with some travels in time-and-space!
Your adventures ask you to follow the invitation drawn in class, and then head to the suggested sites to learn all you can about that aspect of Victorian Life.
The two sites recommended for each invitation come to us from dedicated professionals and amateurs alike.
The first is a major authority – the British Library’s Romantic and Victorian collection: https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians
The second demonstrates the collective scholastic innovation of dedicated lovers of lit: the Victorian Web: http://www.victorianweb.org/
The other sites, based upon your subject, could include:
the NATURE WALK:
the ANATOMY LECTURE:
the GRAND TOUR:
It’s mid-October again! Time to repost some “Magicke Moste Foule”. Sadly, I won’t be with you in this most wonderful week – what with 9th graders contending with wolves, Brit. Lit. finishing their pilgrimage to Canterbury, and the 1010 peeps playing Devil’s Advocate – out am I making conferencing! Just because I can’t be with you doesn’t mean I’m not here to help. All week, I will send you updates from my conference, and give you an opportunity to check in with me about assignments and other nonesuch. Be good to your sub, and check in every day for bonus items and reminders.
It’s the season of suspenseful storytelling, with an emphasis on imaginative yarns and wanderings through folklore. Here are some of the resources 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.
9th – Intro to Literature: This week, you’ve got suspenseful wolf texts to read and watch. All worksheets and reading notes will be due at the end of class Thursday. Today it’s “The Interlopers” – if you don’t finish in class, you can find the story online or pick up a print copy in the classroom. Also, because it’s the song you can’t escape from, no matter how far the river takes you, here’s “The Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae. Look for the wolves in the lyrics!
Perhaps one of the greatest music videos out there, not least of which in the terrible joy of ambiguity.
Brit. Lit: You’re finishing Unit 1 this week, with an emphasis on what this unit does for our class. Why study Early and Middle English? Answer this question with your impressive project, due Thursday. In today’s class you met Death – don’t incur another visit by turning in that project late! Remember: project reflective essay, rubric. All due Thursday!
For those of you looking for more Chaucer inspiration, here’s “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://youtu.be/9i97vbwSSMM
Part III: https://youtu.be/4pG5G45m6dg
ENGL 1010: Oh, my eggheaded darlings. I haven’t forgotten you. If you think I have, let’s play Devil’s Advocate about it! That’s your goal this week, and to help you poke holes in arguments you don’t like, we won’t just shout “WRONG!” or console ourselves with “That’s your opinion”. Get logical! Here’s the link to our favorite Book of Bad Arguments. Sometimes the best way to be right is simply being less wrong – point out those fallacies in your content this week!
Tomorrow I’ll send you an update from the AECT in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. Teachers don’t have it all bad, I suppose. Now, get to work!
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!
The Shakespeare season is upon us! Before you go further unto the breach, check out what I mean by visiting this 23rd of April post from this site:
Still unsure what a Folio actually is? Check it out!
Now that you know tthe readiness is all, are you ready for the Extra Credit? (By “Extra Credit”, I mean one of the three options – a HW pass, points on a low-scored assignment, or an item from the Time and Space Box.)
It’s simple, by Jove – go see the exhibit! That’s it. Brush up your Shakespeare with a visit to the State Museum, and prove it with a selfie in the exhibit!
The Museum is located at 2301 Central Avenue in downtown Cheyenne (mind the road closures at 19th street). The hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday (Fridays and Saturdays are your best bet unless you’re on a field trip I should’ve been invited on, fustilarian!). Admission is FREE!
There is also an opening night reception, featuring guest lecturer Professor Peter Parolin of UW’s English Dept. (one of the best classes I took there)! This event is tonight (8th September) from 5-7 pm to see the folio, and the lecture runs from 7-8 pm. So fair a day you shall not likely see, and you can get extra credit if I see you there!
So that’s it! Check in with me for more info should you need it – better three hours too soon than a minute too late!