Make a list of movies you believe everyone should see at least once.
Write a personal essay about a guest from another country who comes into your home. Specify a typically Canadian ritual in which your guest might participate, and suggest how he or she might perceive it.
What song can you listen to over and over again? Why?
Write about the subject you usually blog about as if you were a music critic.
View at least two movies that focus on World War II. List three specific events that deal with survival in a war setting. What survival strategies do these movie characters use? Are there any lessons to be learned from these movies.
Alternatively, view the movie Jaws. How does this movie deal with survival. What other movies have you enjoyed that also deal with the theme of survival?
If tattoos only lasted for one year, would you want one?
What broken relationship do you wish you could restore?
Has a book ever brought you to tears?
What does home mean to you?
Do you think that Canada has any obligation to help underfed and undernourished people in other countries? Take a position and defend it in an essay.
It’s the year 2113. A major museum is running an exhibition on life and culture as it was in 2013. You’re asked to write an introduction for the show’s brochure. What will it say?
Read the situation described below and use it to complete the assignment that follows.
The Prosper Town Council is considering a proposal to close the town’s only movie theatre. Supporters of the proposal cite declining attendance and the potential to redevelop the site. Those opposed believe that the theatre is a valuable cultural resource and has the potential to become even more so.
In deciding whether to accept the proposal, the Prosper Town Council has invited concerned individuals to make their views known. You are Kerry Sinclair, a student of Prosper High School. You have considered information and opinions from a variety of sources (see attached images). After considering the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal, you have reached a decision. You now need to write a persuasive letter that clearly develops your position.
Write letter that will persuade the Prosper Town Council either to ACCEPT or REJECT the proposal to close the movie theatre.
Kerry Sinclair’s address is 42 Wallaby Way in Prosper, Alberta, U2X 1U2.
The Prosper Town Council address is 1651 Main Street in Prosper, Alberta, U1V 1U1.
Pick a photo with people in it (online or upload your own), and write a fictional dialogue using those people.
What’s the most impulsive thing you’ve ever done?
What does wealth mean to you?
Would you ever take a cruise?
The Courage of Conviction
Conduct Your Own Oral History Project
An oral history project preserves part of a person’s life history—as viewed through that person’s eyes, experiences, and memories. In general, oral history projects add to the knowledge we share about our lives and also add details to our understanding of the past. History is not simply a series of isolated events that you read about in text books. History is truly made up of the life experiences of individuals just like you.
To gather oral history, it is important to conduct a good interview and to take good notes.
Get Started: This activity can be done with a friend or two—while one person interviews by asking questions the others can take written notes or record what is said on tape. Successful oral history inter- views will cause the person being interviewed to start telling colorful stories—just like those captured on film and in the book form of Glory Road.
You, too, can capture the story of a person who has acted on his or her beliefs or convictions.
Think about someone you know who has done something wonderful, overcome a hardship, or committed an act of courage.
Make an appointment to talk with this person and to interview them. Tell the person you will need about an hour of their time. Be sure to bring a note pad. A tape recorder would also be help- ful, if you have one. You may also wish to bring a camera to take a picture of the person you are interviewing. And, bring a friend or two to help if possible.
Before you go, make a list of questions that you would like to ask. 10-12 questions are about the right number. Here are a few oral history questions you might use:
- What is your full name? Did you have a nickname when you were growing up?
- Where were you born and when?
- What would you consider to be the most important inventions that have been made during your lifetime?
- How is the world now different from what it was like when you were a child?
- Do you remember your friends and/or family discussing world events and politics? What did you talk about?
- Who was the person that had the most positive influence on your life? What did this person do?
- Is there a person that really changed the course of your life by something that he or she did? Who was it and why?
- Do you remember someone saying something to you that had a big impact on how you lived your life? What was it?
- What were the hardest choices that you ever had to make? Do you feel like you made the right choices? What would you do differently?
- Have you done something that you feel especially proud of? Please describe it.
- As you see it, what are the biggest problems that face our nation today and how do you think they could be solved?
- Describe a time and place when you remember feeling truly at peace and happy to be alive. Where were you? What were you doing?
Be sure to thank the person you have interviewed and let them know that you will share what you write. Remember to ask permission to share their story with others. You could even write them a thank you note!
Now, write or record the stories you heard during the interview in a way that will be of interest to other young people.
If granted permission by the person you interviewed, be sure to share your oral history with others—adults, your peers, younger children or your local paper!
Would you care to dance?
You’re having a nightmare, and have to choose between three doors. Pick one, and tell us about what you find on the other side.
Tell us about something you think is terribly unfair – and explain how you would rectify it.
What book, fiction or nonfiction, would you love to see illustrated?
Read “The Sniper,” by Liam O’Flaherty.
Respond to the Story
- Reread the first paragraph. What details in the author’s description of the setting establish the tone or atmosphere of the story?
- What message about this civil war is Liam O’Flaherty trying to convey? How does his message compare to the theme in “War,” by Timothy Findley?
- List words and phrases the author uses to describe the sniper and what he is doing. Write your own descriptions of him, using some or all of these words.
- The sniper is the only character the author describes in great detail. Why do you think the author chose to do that?
- Were you surprised by the ending? Why or why not? Did you find it a powerful ending?
- Do you think such a story could occur in Canada? Give reasons for your opinion.
Write a Factual Report
Imagine you are the main character in “The Sniper.” You’ve just returned to your company and have been asked to write a report about what happened. List the events in the story in the order they occurred. Use a complete sentence for each event. Because this is an official report, leave out how you feel or what you thought–just include the facts as you saw them.
- After researching the life of Liam O’Flaherty, write an informative essay explaining the extent to which he based “The Sniper” on his own experiences.
- Does urban warfare, like that in “The Sniper,” affect the outlook and mental stability of combatants differently than battlefield fighting?
- Is modern Ireland still influenced by the outcome of the violence in the early 1920s?
- In an informative essay, write a short psychological profile the IRA sniper.
- Can the tactics of urban guerrillas–sniping, sabotage, terrorist bombings–be morally justified?
Write a classification analysis of a common manufactured product that is useful for some specific purpose. Divide you subject into several categories or subclasses according to an appropriate principal of division (such as features, design, effectiveness, operation, size, etc.). Be sure to label, define, and illustrate each category or subclass so that your analysis supports your thesis in an effective and interesting manner.
When was the last time you wrote someone a handwritten letter?
Do we still need daylight saving time?
If you could only wear one colour for the next month, what would you choose?
Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why?
When you’re feeling down, what music cheers you up?
List your must-haves for a successful road trip.
Finish this sentence: If I were prime minister …
Describe a moment in your life when it was better to be safe than sorry.
Imagine that you are babysitting a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old. The parents have left some treats for dessert: two bananas, a lollipop, and an ice cream bar. The parents instructions were to allow each child to choose one treat. Unfortunately, both kids want the ice cream bar. How can you distribute the goods fairly? The easiest way would be to give them each a banana. But, neither wants a banana. Or, perhaps the older child should have first pick because she has more responsibilities. Or, perhaps the younger child should have first pick because he has less opportunities. Perhaps they should compete for first pick. But, that seems to give the older child an automatic advantage again. Perhaps you could split the ice cream bar in half, but then they should be allowed to split something else, and the only other thing they want is the lollipop, which is hard to split. As you can see, this is a complicated problem. How would you solve it?
Have you ever lived outside the country you were born in?
Who knows you better than anyone else?
Share the three biggest responsibilities you’ve ever been made accountable for.
Write about a group of people about whom there is a common misconception. Write an illustrative essay in which you develop sufficient evidence to refute that misconception.
Remember that one time on the bus, when…? Share your mass transit stories.
Write a story featuring the “words not spoken” in a relationship“>relationship between a father and son.
Develop some otherwise common object as a metaphor for the “words not spoken” between a father and son: stone, hammer, photograph, hockey sweater, guitar, slide rule.
Share a story about the furthest you’ve ever traveled from home.
If you had your own clothing line, what would it be called?
Do you prefer team or individual sports? Why?
You’ve imbibed a special potion that makes you immortal. Now that you’ve got forever, what changes will you make in your life? How will you live life differently, knowing you’ll always be around to be accountable for your actions?
What’s your favorite summertime sound?
What will you remember most about 2011?
If you could pause real life and spend some time living with a family anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Name someone who has a great voice.
What do you love most about yourself? What do you love most about your favorite person? Are the two connected?
Choose a significant problem that many people must learn how to handle in their daily lives, and write an instructional process analysis in which you present an effective approach or method for dealing with that problem.
- Give some examples of common topics in science fiction novels and films.
- What have you read about experiments involving increased intelligence? Do you believe that we will one day be able to achieve this goal?
Read “Barney” by Will Stanton.
Question for Discussion:
- Do you think scientists should be free to perform experiments in secret?
- With a partner, review the events of the story as you understand them.
- Name some famous novels and movies in which science experiments go wrong.
- How did you respond to the surprise ending? What has happened? What was the foreshadow of the plot twist?
- Find three examples of irony in the last two paragraphs of the story?
- On what grounds is Tayloe fired? How did the protagonist rationalize his dismissal?
- What familiar conventions (patterns or rules) of the science fiction story and the fantasy story are found in “Barney”?
- Write two more diary entries for Barney.
- Assume that Barney is recruiting female rats. Make a home page for him.
- In a paragraph, review the events of the story as you understand them.
- What are some of the crises in the story? What would you consider to be the climax, or main turning point?
- Why is the story written in journal form? Would the story have worked any other way?
- Write the investigating police detective’s report on what happened on the island. Support with evidence.
- Make a collage of the story to illustrate the various scenes, episodes, and characters.
Tell us about your favorite way to get lost in a simple activity – running, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, whatever. What’s it like when you’re in “the zone”?
Name a book that changed your life.
What’s the best April Fools’ Day prank you’ve ever heard of?
What’s tougher: living with someone messy or someone noisy?
Read “On the Sidewalk Bleeding” by Evan Hunter
Respond to the following questions on the various aspects of the story:
- Who is the protagonist?
- What is/are the conflict(s)?
- The conflict is developed through the use of names that apply to the boy: Andy and a Royal. Skim the story to note how the names appear in critical places. What do these names represent?
- What effect does Andy’s jacket have on the people who find him in the alley?
- What are the reasons why these people do not help Andy?
- At what point does Andy realize he is dying?
- What does Andy do with the last of his strength? How is this important to the theme and to the outcome of the conflict?
- What is the climax or turning point? Sketch a Plot Diagram. Try this Plot Diagram Generator or find another.
- What is the police officer’s reaction to Andy? How does this contribute to the author’s message?
Assessment Activity: Who Am I?
Consider your own identity: who are you, what makes you unique, how do others see you, what do you want others to know and see about you. Write a post in your blog that represents yourself: embed visual elements and/or other suitable medium.
You may wish to include some of the following elements:
- a personal motto or saying
- a symbol that represents something about you
- your attitudes about yourself
- your strengths and talents
- your hopes and dreams for the future
- what you most like about yourself
- what you are working on improving about yourself (with a positive focus) not what you dislike about yourself
Focus on the positive and create a post that makes you feel good about yourself while showing others all that is good about you.
Spend time reviewing the criteria from the assessment rubric.
A giant meteor is headed toward Earth. What do you do with the last day of your life?
What form of exercise do you enjoy the most?
Share the most extreme case of culture shock you’ve ever experienced.
What’s the thing you’re most scared to do? What would it take to get you to do it?
Name something you don’t like to share.
What are you indecisive about?