Man in Motion

It seems that people are often fascinated by individuals who do extraordinary things to better the lives of others. Research Rick Hansen and write a report about him. Be sure to include a character description in which you suggest how Rick Hansen’s character might have influenced his life. Share your report with your classmates.

Include links to 3-5 sources of information. Check your information for relevance, bias, and accuracy.

Embed one or two images or media clips.

Adjectives to describe character traits.

“Pillars of Character”

Consider writing a report on another Canadian hero: fact or fiction.

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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.

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But First, A Word from Our Sponsors…

Did you notice the advertisements?

Suppose you could travel back in time, what products would have been advertised during humanity’s greatest moments?

What if we found sponsors …

What modern companies would you advertise along-side these historic firsts?

Perhaps we already have a time machine. Consider Isidore of Seville? Anne Frank? The Istanbul Rocketship?

Consider a “Top 200” company today. Of what moments in history would it pay great sums to be a sponsor?

Why shouldn’t the owner of Flavr Savr one day be our “official” sponsor?

(How to open links in colorbox)

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Anachronism

Anachronism (noun): an error in chronology; a person or thing that’s chronologically out of place. Write a story in which a person or thing is out of place, or recount a time when you felt out of place.

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Book Talk

Read a book – fiction or non-fiction. During your reading, comment often (before, during, or after each reading session) in the STJ “Book Talk” forums using the following questions as a guide.

Fiction:

  1. Which character do you like the most and why? The least and why?
  2. What passage from the book stood out to you?
  3. Are there situations and/or characters you can identify with, if so how?
  4. Did you learn something you didn’t know before?
  5. Do you feel as if your views on a subject have changed by reading this text?
  6. Have you had a life changing revelation from reading this text?
  7. What major emotion did the story evoke in you as a reader?
  8. At what point in the book did you decide if you liked it or not? What helped make this decision?
  9. Name your favorite thing overall about the book. Your least favorite?
  10. If you could change something about the book what would it be and why?
  11. Describe what you liked or disliked about the writer’s style?

These questions are intended to help you perceive characters imaginatively – to help uncover the mysteries of motivation, personality, and interaction.

Understanding the Central Person

  1. What seems to drive this person to action?
  2. What action tells us most about this person?
  3. What action affects your feelings about this person?
  4. What are some basic character traits of this person?
  5. What is the greatest weakness of this person?
  6. How does this person relate to other people?
  7. What is special or important about this person’s moral or religious life?
  8. How does this person change or mature?
  9. What personal insights enlighten this person?

Exploring the World of Characters

  1. What other characters draw your special attention?
  2. What do they tell us about the central figure?
  3. What special relationships are formed by these less central people?
  4. What groups of people are associated in your mind?
  5. Do some of these people or groups represent values or ideas beyond themselves?
  6. Which characters provoke distaste or disdain?
  7. Which character is most mysterious and hard to understand?
  8. Which character could most easily be left out of this world?
  9. Do any of these other people seem to grow, change, or gain new self-understanding?
  10. Does any character you don’t know well play an important role?

Imagining Characters in Our World

  1. What in our world would shock the central character most?
  2. What would make anyone know this character didn’t fit in our world?
  3. What serious matters could you talk about with this person?
  4. What important values would you disagree on?
  5. What would your parents think about this character?
  6. What social causes would this person support?
  7. What television programs would be most appealing to this character?
  8. What would be the political affiliation, if any, of this person?
  9. What religious dogma would be most appealing or disgusting to this character?

Non-Fiction:

  1. Did you admire or detest this person? Why? (Biography or Autobiography)
  2. What life lesson can be learned from this event or story? (General Nonfiction)
  3. Did the book read like a story, a newspaper article, a report, something else? Give examples. (General Nonfiction)
  4. What one new fact did you learn from reading this book? (General Nonfiction)
  5. What was the motivation for the writing of this book? (General but great for Bio or Auto Bio)
  6. Did you feel this book truly belonged in the nonfiction genre? (Memoir)
  7. Was the point of the book to share an opinion, explain a topic, tell about a personal journey, or something else? Did the author do it well? (General Nonfiction)
  8. What part of this book inspired you in some way? Explain. (Motivational, Self Help)
  9. Will you read other books by this author? Why or why not? (General Nonfiction)
  10. Did this book change your life in a positive or negative way? Explain (General Nonfiction)
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Comparison and Contrast

Compare and/or contrast one of the following pairs. (See also the guidelines that follow.)
1. A newborn and an elderly person
2. Front-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive cars
3. The newspaper and the TV newcast
4. Cats and dogs
5. Renting and owning your home
6. Using credit and using cash
7. Touring bikes and mountain bikes
8. The novel and the short story
9. Any two martial arts
10. The classical music fan and the rock music fan
11. A Canadian city and an American city of the same size
12. A wedding and a funeral
13. Writing on paper and using a word processor
14. Natural and synthetic fabrics
15. The authoritarian parent and the permissive parent
16. Luxury cars and economy cars
17. Speaking and writing
18. Community college and university
19. The analogue watch and the digital watch
20. A team sport and an individual sport
21. Sales tax and income tax
22. Glasses and contact lenses
23. Driving a motorcycle and driving a car
24. Two newspapers(news channels or news sites) that you know
25. Large families and small families

Process in Writing: Guidelines
Follow at least some of these steps in writing your essay of comparison and contrast.

1. Spend enough time with the topic list to choose the item that best fits your interest and experience.

2. Draw a line down the middle of a blank page. Now brainstorm: jot down notes for subject “A” on the lefl and for subject “B” on the right. Join related items with lines, then take stock of what you have: Is A better than B? Is it worse? Similar? Opposite? Or what? Express their relationship to each other in a thesis statement.

3. Now choose either “halves” or “separate points” to organize your argument, depending on the nature and size of your subject, then work your notes into a brief outline.

4. Write a rapid first draft, leave extra white space, not stopping now to revise or edit.

5. Later analyze what you have produced. Does it follow your outline? If not, is the new material off-topic, or is it a worthwhile addition, an example of “thinking in writing”? Revise accordingly.

6. In your second draft cut all deadwood. Sharpen word choice. Add any missing examples. Strengthen TRANSITIONS.

7. Test your prose aloud before writing the good copy. Save the essay in case your teacher suggests further revision.

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