Author Archives: Mr. D. Sader

About Mr. D. Sader

George Spelvin, Irving C. Saltzberg, Walter Plinge, "Rocket 88", and Alan Smithee are among my closest friends.

Human Rights Violation

Research an example of a human rights violation from any country at any point in time.

 

Focus on one event and find three different sources: a book, online, magazine, etc.

 

Compare what you have learned from each source. If there are differences in facts and explanations, how can you tell which is correct.

Why is it important to use more than one resource when researching a topic.

Random ideas for a short story

  • fate vs free choice
  • a secret reason
  • a quiet sacrifice
  • betrayal of an old relative
  • flirting with a stranger
  • flirting with an old friend
  • predator vs prey
  • a symbolic object
  • jealousy
  • second language words or phrases
  • specialty jargon
  • animal captivity
  • symbol of good
  • symbol of evil
  • annoy your brother
  • regret a decision
  • choose safety over risk
  • something mythologically familiar
  • a song without words
  • a song with words
  • a passage from scripture
  • describe a colour
  • focus on hands somewhere
  • current piece of technology
  • a current event in the news
  • some natural phenomenon with infinite details
  • notice dirt, mud, dust, rust or decay in some small way
  • refer to a classic book by name
  • have a character cut something with scissors or a knife
  • have a character write something on a sticky-note
  • quit something
  • cuss but don’t write the word
  • flashback
  • whiffle ball accidents
  • two faced
  • dream with a shadow in it
  • eat healthy at a fast food restaurant
  • loss of your own soul
  • a falling object
  • focus on a facial expression
  • loss of a significant other
  • betrayal of another
  • poison from a secret
  • chaos from order
  • have a character say “Huh?” and really mean it.
  • smile fiercely
  • smile falsely

Twitter Essay: Environment and Technology

Your Specific Tasks:

The Discussion:
Form a discussion group of about 5 students(invite a staff member, too, if you want).
Start your discussion in Twitter (use a new/unique #hashtag and avoid spamming existing hashtags). One of you picks the discussion starter from any of the “Environment and Technology” prompts from my iblog. Post follow-up responses to each other so the discussion is “two-way”.

The Proof:

  1. Add a #hashtag widget to your blog of your discussion.
  2. Create a “Twitter essay” in your blog highlighting the main points in your discussion, try to embed a tweet or two from each contributing group member.

Demonstrate these “I can…” outcomes:
“I can … Explore your thoughts, ideas, understandings and ask your discussion group members to do the same.
“I can … Respect each others opinions, but work together towards building a discussion thread that is perceptive, insightful, engaging and unified.

Assessment:
Once each member of the group is satisfied that they have completed the discussion task, and met the more general “I can…” outcomes, assign your discussion thread a score using this “Personal response” rubric:

Use this rubric for scoring your “Twitter Essay”:

Rubric for a “Twitter Essay”

Barney 2.0

Read: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/mouse-sex-studies-1.3545486

Imagine a companion story to “Barney” by Will Stanton – “Barney 2.0.”

Think about the possibilities of a parallel story where a female rat also experienced “awakened intellectual curiosity.” Her name is … Barbara. (It has to be Barbara, I’ll tell you why if you ask after all stories are done.)

1. Begn the diray in trees in the stial of the ratt Barney.

Or

2. Begin a new sequence of enlightened diary entries in the voice and style of Barbara.

No “R” rated male/female stuff for the rats, please. I could not handle that. Classical allusions, metaphors, allegory, suspicion, trickery, betrayals, violence, fear of isolation, love and loss. Barney and/or Barbara have “flipped through” more books. Go.

PG-13 ok. Imagine the musical soundtrack if you like, just no sex.

Have fun, but try to remain faithful to the purposes of Will Stanton in the original.

What does your “Barney 2.0” reveal about the human condition after critical examination?

Environment and Technology–Reality and Responsibility

Equality–Pain and Pride

The Wheelbarrow Girl

Molly Malone
In Dublin’s fair city,
Where the girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she wheeled her wheel-barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”

“Alive, alive, oh,
Alive, alive, oh,”
Crying “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh”.

She was a fishmonger,
But sure ’twas no wonder,
For so were her father and mother before,
And they wheeled their barrows,
Through the streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”

(chorus)

She died of a fever,
And no one could save her,
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone.
But her ghost wheels her barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”

(chorus)x2

Stop to talk with Molly Malone and, on the pretext of buying some mussels from her, strike up a conversation with her about her life and her dreams.
Write the dialogue that goes on between you.

Conduct Your Own Oral History Project

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:

  1. What is your full name? Did you have a nickname when you were growing up?
  2. Where were you born and when?
  3. What would you consider to be the most important inventions that have been made during your lifetime?
  4. How is the world now different from what it was like when you were a child?
  5. Do you remember your friends and/or family discussing world events and politics? What did you talk about?
  6. Who was the person that had the most positive influence on your life? What did this person do?
  7. Is there a person that really changed the course of your life by something that he or she did? Who was it and why?
  8. Do you remember someone saying something to you that had a big impact on how you lived your life? What was it?
  9. 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?
  10. Have you done something that you feel especially proud of? Please describe it.
  11. As you see it, what are the biggest problems that face our nation today and how do you think they could be solved?
  12. 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!

Does Music Speak to Your Values?

The Courage of Conviction: Social, Political, and Spiritual beliefs

The 1960s was a time when popular music—whether country, R&B, gospel, Motown or rock—spoke of themes such as overcoming adversity and the possibility of freedom and equality. Songs touched on messages about the hardships of racism, poverty, and the urban experience. During the Vietnam War, many songs were also written raising questions and calling for peace.

Composers of songs that addressed social issues took risks to express their values, as well as their social, political and spiritual beliefs through their music. Some songs were ignored by radio stations. Yet, some of these same songs from the 60s are still on the airwaves today and most of them have endured and been recorded on CD, and are widely available online (YouTube, iTunes, Play). Newly composed and recorded music still speaks to us on many of these social themes and concerns.

Listen and Respond

Think of a song that you enjoy today that you believe speaks of an important social issue, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Listen to it a few times, and reflect on the following questions. Write out your answers.

  1. What are lyrics from the song that stir emotions in you? Why? Record the lyrics that you believe are the most powerful or memorable below:
  2. How do you feel when you listen to this song?
  3. Why do you think the themes and messages in the song are important?
  4. Do you believe that a wide range of people, for many years to come, will be able to connect with the meaning of this song (in the way that people have connected with the meaning of “People Get Ready” for more than 40 years)? Why or why not?

Group Discussion

If possible, share your song (by playing it) with a group and have each person share the song that he or she chose for this activity. Talk about the messages in the songs. Tell each other what your answers were to the questions above.

Write a Post

Write a post about a song in which its composer addressed social issues and took risks to express their values – their social, political, and spiritual beliefs – through their music.

Inspiration:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/readers-poll-the-10-best-protest-songs-of-all-time-20141203/bob-dylan-blowin-in-the-wind-20141203

Try These:

Sweet Music (One of These Days)
Written by Alicia Keys
Produced by Alicia Keys and Kerry Brothers (as Kerry “Krucial” Brothers)
Performed by Alicia Keys

Uptight (Everything’s Alright)
Written by Stevie Wonder, Sylvia Moy, Henry Cosby
Performed by Stevie Wonder

Woo-Hoo
Written by George Donald McGraw
Performed by Rock-a-Teens (as Rock A-Teens)

Rave On
Written by Del ‘Sonny’ West (as Sunny West), Bill Tilghman, Norman Petty
Performed by Buddy Holly

Kaw Liga
Written by Hank Williams, Fred Rose
Performed by Hank Williams

Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
Written by Hank Williams

If We Never Needed the Lord Before We Sure Do Need Him Now
Written by Thomas A. Dorsey

I Can’t Get Next to You
Written by Norman Whitfield (as Norman J. Whitfield), Barrett Strong
Performed by The Temptations

I’m Blue
AKA “The Gong Gong Song”
Written by Ike Turner
Performed by The Ikettes

Last Night
Written by Charles Axton, Chips Moman, Floyd Newman, Gilbert Caple, Jerry Lee ‘Smoochy’ Smith
Performed by The Mar-Keys

Shake It Up Baby (AKA Twist and Shout)
Written by Bert Berns, Phil Medley
Performed by The Isley Brothers

My Guy
Written by Smokey Robinson
Performed by Mary Wells

Function at the Junction
Written by Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland Jr.), Shorty Long (as Frederick Long)
Performed by Shorty Long

My Home is on the Delta
Written by Muddy Waters (as McKinley Morganfield)
Performed by Muddy Waters

I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honeybunch)
Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland Jr.)

Can You Do It
Written by Richard Street, Thelma Gordy
Performed by The Contours

Burnt Biscuits
Written by Chips Moman, Booker T. Jones (as Booker T. Jones, Jr.)
Performed by The Triumphs

I’m on My Way to Canaan
Written and Performed by Mahalia Jackson

Baby Love
Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland Jr.)
Performed by The Supremes

Jordan River
Written by James Herndon
Performed by Shirley Cesar

Texas Fight
Written by Colonel Walter S. Hunnicutt, James E. King, Burnett “Blondie” Pharr

Green Onions
Written by Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Lewie Steinberg and Al Jackson Jr.
Performed by Booker T. & the M.G.s (as Booker T. and the MG’s)

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)
Written by Otis Redding, Jerry Butler
Performed by Otis Redding

Ain’t That Good News
Written by James Cleveland
Performed by The Meditation Singers

El Paso
Written by Marty Robbins

Going to a Go-Go
Written by Smokey Robinson, Marvin Tarplin, Warren Moore, Bobby Rogers (as Robert Rogers)
Performed by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Shotgun
Written by Junior Walker (as Autry Dewalt)
Performed by Jr. Walker & The All Stars

You’re a Wonderful One
Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edwards Holland, Jr.
Performed by Marvin Gaye

Get Ready
Written by Smokey Robinson
Performed by The Temptations

Ain’t That Peculiar
Written by Smokey Robinson, Marvin Tarplin, Warren Moore, Bobby Rogers (as Robert Rogers)
Performed by Marvin Gaye

Down in the Boondocks
Written by Joe South
Performed by Billy Joe Royal

Ballad of the Green Berets
Written by Barry Sadler (as Barry A. Sadler), Robin Moore
Performed by Barry Sadler (as Sgt. Barry Sadler)

Road Runner
(AKA “I’m a Road Runner”)
Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland Jr.)
Performed by Jr. Walker & The All Stars

Dancing in the Street
Written by Marvin Gaye (as Marvin P. Gaye), Ivy Jo Hunter, William Stevenson
Performed by Martha & The Vandellas

These Arms of Mine
Written and Performed by Otis Redding

People Get Ready
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Performed by The Impressions

Up All Night Blues
Written by Rick Garcia, Craig Eastman
Performed by The Raven Shadows

The Eyes of Texas
Written by John Lang Sinclair

On, On, U. of K.
(University of Kentucky)
Written by C.A. Lampert

People Get Ready
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Produced by Alicia Keys and Kerry Brothers (as Kerry “Krucial” Brothers)
Performed by Alicia Keys and Lyfe Jennings

I Will Make the Darkness Light
Written by Charles P. Jones
Produced by Alicia Keys and Trevor Rabin
Performed by Alicia Keys

Conversation Starters

Are you a good listener?

Turn to the person beside you and ask them to talk to you for about 30 seconds about one of the following:

  • Tell me what you would do if you won a million dollars?
  • Tell me about the last movie you watched?
  • Tell me about why this school year is (or is not) better that last year?

Macbeth: Personal Response after Act 5

Examine one of the following topics and write a narrative or personal essay:

Kingship (Consider the differences between the four Kings in the play)
Ambition (Consider the differences and similarities between the ambitions of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth)
Guilt (Consider Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s response to guilt)
Order (Consider nature, politics, relationships, and how order is restored)
Deceptive Appearances
Fathers and Sons
Sleep
Loyalty and Patriotism
The Ideal Marriage

Stand Up

Have you ever stood up for something you believe in?  A brave and proud woman takes a different path at the … Borders.

Background Check:
Locate the following on a map:

  • Western Canada
  • Western United States
  • Alberta
  • Montana
  • Follow Alberta Highway 4 to the border where it becomes Interstate 15 in Montana.
  • Follow I-15 through the states of Montana, Idaho, and Utah to Salt Lake City
  • Locate other place names: Vancouver, Edmonton, Vermilion, Lethbridge, Coutts, Sweetgrass, Medicine Hat, Moose Jaw, Kicking Horse Pass, Banff, Cardston, Browning, Calgary, Pincher Creek, Chief Mountain.
  • Locate the Blackfoot reservations closest to Coutts.

Refresh your familiarity with the Blackfoot. What details did you already know? What new interesting details(3-5) have you found?

Read the short story “Borders,” by Thomas King.

Respond to the Story

  1. Why is not stating her nationality such an important issue for Laetitia’s mother?
  2. Do you think the mother did the right thing in not telling the border guards what they wanted to hear? Explain fully.
  3. What role does one’s nationality play in forming your identity
  4. “Native literature gives readers new ways of looking at the distinctions between the real and the imaginary, diffusing the tensions of identity checking by looking beyond to wider contexts.” Discuss.
  5. To what extent do you believe the mother and her son suffered discrimination from both the American and Canadian border guards. Use explicit information from the story to support your view.
  6. When asked what he found so “compelling” about borders, Thomas King, in a 1999 interview, replied, “The fact that there is one. The fact that right in the middle of this perfectly contiguous landscape someone has drawn a line and on one side it’s Canadian and therefore very different from the side that is American. Borders are these very artificial and subjective barriers that we throw up around our lives in all sorts of different ways. National borders are just indicative of the kinds of borders we build around ourselves.” He speaks further of the need to keep constructing new borders: “As soon as we get rid of the old ones we construct new ones” (Interview with Jennifer Andrews). Discuss.

Editor’s Desk
In “Borders,” Thomas King uses a variety of sentence structures: simple, compound, complex, and parallel structures. Any story that is full of simple sentences tends to be choppy and sound, um, boring. King uses different sentence types to create variety and keep the reader interested.

Write a post about Thomas King’s sentence structure.

Examples:
Simple
“Her gun was silver.”

Compound
“The Canadian border guard was a young woman, and she seemed happy to see us.”

Complex
“The border was actually two towns, though neither one was big enough to amount to anything.

Parallelism
“He leaned into the window, looked into the back seat, and looked at my mother and me.”

Pick 5 and Synthesize (Part 2)

Pick 5 of the following words and synthesize them into a piece of your writing:

  • divergent
  • amity
  • pseudovision
  • extremities
  • abnegation
  • transcribe
  • apparitions
  • prototype
  • plod
  • cultivating a narcotic
  • contingency
  • incrementally
  • unfathomable
  • threshold
  • gumbo
  • dauntless
  • perpetual
  • candour
  • idyllic
  • perfunctory
  • polyurethane
  • bureaucrats
  • ontologically
  • erudite
  • intuitive
  • ventilator
  • roundabouts
  • decompensating
  • reverberated
  • skeletons
  • ghosts
  • invisible
  • primal
  • vigilant
  • tenuous
  • gourmet
  • pungent
  • hyperthyroidism
  • catastrophic

Pick 5 and Synthesize (Part 1)

Pick 5 of the following words and synthesize them into a piece of your writing:

  • psychological
  • scorn
  • elitism
  • promenade
  • demeanour
  • crystalline
  • bickering
  • furrow
  • gilded
  • a rococo motif
  • absently
  • deprived
  • orrery
  • turnover
  • endowed
  • haunches
  • evanescent
  • wiry
  • claustrophobic
  • disembodied
  • matronly
  • oblation
  • hackles
  • bedraggled
  • frump
  • decisively
  • vehemently
  • tote
  • tentatively
  • resentfully

A Room with a View (or Just a View)

We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.

— Joan Didion

Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

from Writing 101: A Room with a View (or Just a View) by Ben Huberman

Write a Descriptive Paragraph

Think about a family member who has had an impact on your life. What memories stand out in your mind? Jot down words or phrases that describe the person. Consider character traits and physical appearance, as well as memories you have of the person. Write a descriptive paragraph using these details. Will your readers be able to picture the person your describe? Use concrete nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs to create your description.

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.

DIY Radio

Create a radio diary.

Anyone can make a radio diary. Try your hand at making radio. Whether you’re interviewing a neighbor, or a grandparent, or someone you’ve never met, a microphone is a passport into their lives. If you or someone in your community has a story to tell, get a microphone, a recorder, a pair of headphones, and get started.

The Teen Reporter Handbook has been used in schools across the United States, as well as in Russia, Israel, South Africa, and even in a journalism training program in Southern Afghanistan.

We Are Happy From …

Grab your smart phone and make your own “We Are Happy From…” video.

Team up with a group of friends, classmates, teammates … and work on your “lip dub.”

 

(name it Pharrell Williams – Happy – We Are from [name of the city])

 

Read about Pharrell Williams at wikipedia.

Read about youth who cannot create and share such a video.

 

Watch, but not all of it at once, a 24 hour version of Happy, http://24hoursofhappy.com

 

Put your town on the map: http://wearehappyfrom.com/map

 

Tools:

Google Drive

WeVideo and WeVideo Help

iPhone WeVideo App

 

Yellow: #ffd202

 

How to get your video to the YouTube without paying the premium?

Publish your project, once published the project can be exported. Export it to your Google Drive (notice the YouTube icon is grey and requires an upgrade premium to click).

Wait a bit of time.

Look for your exported “happy.mp4” inside your “My Drive”. Download this file to your desktop, then upload it to your youtube.

Worked for me.

Be careful how many times you “Export” there is a “bumper” on the free account that only allows a few MBs or minutes to be exported. Be certain you are ready for export and export only the once.

 

After the Harvest

Write a comprehensive film review of the film “After the Harvest.”

If you have read “Wild Geese” by Martha Ostenso, be sure to compare and contrast.

Consider especially details from class discussions, notes, essays or any other ideas to help you out.

Tip: consider a 5-paragraph essay as an organizational structure for your review. Perhaps one third focusing on literal elements, one third on figurative elements, and the final third thematic elements.

Screenshots:

http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/geese/geese.html

Write a Short Story

Imagine your story is already done:

Who is the hero in your story? Explain why you think so.

  • What is the turning point? In what way does your protagonist change?
  • What is the overall message and mood?
  • Is humour an important part of this story?
  • Why is your story title significant?

Now begin with a fuzzy plan:

Investigate drawing a plot diagram for your story. Use an online tool or draw your own chart. Complete it by adding story details under each of the following: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

Have you read other stories like yours? Discuss these stories. How were their plots similar or different?

Think about a big idea:

In most good stories the characters undergo a significant change. What are some good ideas for a short story about an ordinary person who undergoes a significant change? Which idea would make an especially entertaining story for an audience of your peers?

Plan out the details:

Add details to your outline for your short story, including notes on the following: main character and personality, setting, conflict, initial incident, rising action, changes, climax, and conclusion/denouement/resolution.

Write a first draft:

Use this outline to write a first draft.

Revise:

Ask a partner to give you feedback about improving your story. Revise your draft using this feedback.

Publish:

Barney

Pre-Reading Questions:

  1. Give some examples of common topics in science fiction novels and films.
  2. 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:

  1. Do you think scientists should be free to perform experiments in secret?

Respond Personally:

  1. With a partner, review the events of the story as you understand them.
  2. Name some famous novels and movies in which science experiments go wrong.

Respond Critically:

  1. How did you respond to the surprise ending? What has happened? What was the foreshadow of the plot twist?
  2. Find three examples of irony in the last two paragraphs of the story?
  3. On what grounds is Tayloe fired? How did the protagonist rationalize his dismissal?
  4. What familiar conventions (patterns or rules) of the science fiction story and the fantasy story are found in “Barney”?

Respond Creatively:

  1. Write two more diary entries for Barney.
  2. Assume that Barney is recruiting female rats. Make a home page for him.

Going Further

  1. In a paragraph, review the events of the story as you understand them.
  2. What are some of the crises in the story? What would you consider to be the climax, or main turning point?
  3. Why is the story written in journal form? Would the story have worked any other way?
  4. Write the investigating police detective’s report on what happened on the island. Support with evidence.
  5. Make a collage of the story to illustrate the various scenes, episodes, and characters.

Community

Your entire community – however you define that; your hometown, your neighborhood, your family, your colleagues – is guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.

$5,000,000

You’ve inherited $5 million, with instructions that you must give it all away – but you can choose any organizations you like to be the beneficiaries. Where does the money go?

Potion

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?

Poker

You’re set to play poker (or Scrabble or something else . . .) with a group of four. Write a story set during this game. Or, describe the ideal match: the players, the relationships – and the hidden rivalries.