Fiction writers: You’re stuck in an elevator with an intriguing stranger. Write this scene. Non-fiction writers: You’re stuck in an elevator with a person from your past. Write this scene.

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More Holidays!

You may be of the opinion that there are not enough holidays in the school year which permit you to take off from school. So invent some! Make up three new holidays which are so important that school has to be closed a week for each holiday. How about a World Series Holiday, or a Grey Cup Holiday that gives you the week off? Justify your holiday with strong arguments.

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What are the main purposes for building fences?

What ideas are suggested about fences in the following photos?

Collect images of fences. Can you find images that seem to suggest an idea related to a course focus question?

Create your own photo essay or bulletin board poster(try Adobe Indesign) featuring a photograph of a fence.

Make sure your poser can be read from about 2 meters away. Your photoessay should contain 3-5 images with only a couple sentences arguing your photo’s connection to your focus.

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Alternative Approach

Select a news or magazine article, editorial, blog, or letter to the editor in which a writer’s solution to a problem is morally or ethically unacceptable to you. Write an essay in which you argue against the writer’s position and offer a more reasonable and acceptable alternative approach or solution to the problem.

(Hint: try a parody in the style of Jonathan Swift)

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Nature Personified

Watch some living creature(s) in their natural environment: a nest of garter snakes, an orb spider, a gopher mound.

Write a short story featuring the creatures, but describe them with human characteristics: personify.

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Imagine you have your own disc jockey show. Give yourself call numbers and a suitable cool disc jockey’s name. Name your show and write a segment of the show’s monologue. Include the names of the songs you will play.

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A Sunrise on the Veld

Read “A Sunrise on the Veld,” by Doris Lessing

Respond to the Story

  • Describe the boy’s feelings and state of mind before he comes upon the buck. Describe a time in your life when you experienced a similar emotion.
  • Why does the boy not shoot the buck?
  • How does the boy feel at the end of the story? What has caused his mood to change so dramatically?

Poetic Language
The author, Doris Lessing, expresses the boy’s thoughts and feelings very poetically in the two paragraphs before the boy hears the buck’s cries. With a partner, discuss some of these phrases and the images they create. What emotions do the images raise? Is the use of poetic language effective? What types of writing techniques are used?

Using phrases from these two paragraphs, write a poem that expresses the character’s joy at being young and alive. You could draw or find an illustration that captures the spirit of your poem.

(Extra: use any Walt Whitman poem as a model)

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For many of us the seasons are changing, bouncing unpredictably between cold and warm. Are you glad to be moving into a new season, or wishing for one more week of the old?

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New Semester

Another school semester will soon begin. If you’re in school, are you looking forward to starting classes? If you’re out of school, what do you miss about it – or are you glad those days are over?

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Create a story from this list of random words

Create a story from this list of random words:

  1. ornate
  2. mirth
  3. accordion
  4. pinprick
  5. askew
  6. motley
  7. reverie
  8. vanquish
  9. discordant
  10. symposium
  11. discard
  12. oregano
  13. summon
  14. skewer
  15. protrude
  16. scythe
  17. fathom
  18. blasphemous
  19. scaffold
  20. enthusiastic
  21. incredulous
  22. groin
  23. comradeship
  24. absurdity
  25. requisition
  26. charade
  27. suspicion
  28. sophisticated
  29. assertive
  30. colonel
  31. conscript
  32. Berkely Street
  33. Jesus
  34. Grandma Redbird
  35. gazillion
  36. phony
  37. quarrel
  38. illuminate
  39. commiserate
  40. juvenile
  41. capitulate
  42. idiocy
  43. deprive
  44. implacability
  45. protrude
  46. glower
  47. shovel
  48. subversive
  49. corridor
  50. abuse
  51. bollocks
  52. extenuate
  53. tank top
  54. dark sweater
  55. shorts
  56. pullover
  57. hat
  58. robe
  59. jeans
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A Marriage Proposal

Read Anton Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal.


  1. Identify the object of Chekhov’s satire in this play. Support your interpretation with a specific reference to the text.
  2. Why do you think Chekhov included the character to Chubukov in the play? What functioin does he serve?

Form and Style

  1. The play has a strong emotional tone. Explain how both the structure of the play and the punctuation of the text contribute to the emotional tone. Cite specific examples to support your answer.
  2. Melodrama is defined s “a dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to the emotions.” Comment on how Chekhov uses melodramatic techniques to create humor in this piece.

Exploring Content

  1. What information about life in Czarist Russia do we learn from this script? Explain how this information creates the context of the drama in the play.

Creative Extension

  1. Choose a segment of the play and rewrite it in a narrative (short story) form. Be prepared to discuss changes you needed to make to transpose one form to another.
  2. Prepare a readers’ theatre presentation of a portion of the script. Focus on capturing the emotional tension created through the dialogue. Record your presentation (audio or video) and share it.
  3. Read Chekhov’s monologue On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco. Using this monologue as a model, write a script for a monologue given by one of the characters from A Marriage Proposal: Chubukov on the dangers of domestic champagne, Natalya on the dangers faced by women at harvest, or Lomov on the dangers of modern fabrics … and so on and so forth and all that.
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