First Day

Tell us about your first day at something – your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.

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Legacy

Write your own poem to honour an ancestor.

You could use the person’s name and relationship to you as the first line of the poem. On the next line, write two adjectives to describe him or her, what he or she did, and a short description of the person’s desires, fears, and loves on following lines.

Use the following poem as a model.

Marcel Lévesque, great-uncle
Brave, adventurous sailor
Wanted to marry a Spanish lady
Feared he would be sent home to Gaspé
Loved his señiorita forever

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Example

If one of these traditional or popular sayings expresses an important lesson you have learned about life, illustrate it in an essay developed through extensive use of example. (See also the guidelines that follow.)
1. Experience is the best teacher.
2. Money cannot buy happiness.
3. The best defence is a good offence.
4. You have to like yourself before you can like others.
5. Practice makes perfect.
6. True wealth is measured by what you can do without.
7. If you try to please the world, you will never please yourself.
8. Time is money.
9. Virtue is its own reward.
10. No pain, no gain.
11. Beauty is only skin-deep.
12. Money is the root of all evil.
13. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
14. The more you have, the more you want.
15. Love is blind.

If your answer to one if the following is based on strong experience, support it in an
essay developed through extensive use of example. (See also the guidelines that follow.)
16. The (best/worst) program on television is _______________.
17. _______________ is the best book I’ve ever read.
18. The (best/worst) spectator sport of all is _______________.
19. One kind of music I really detest is _______________.
20. _______________ is the (best/worst) restaurant I’ve ever tried.
21. My favourite newspaper is _______________.
22. _______________ is the most practical computer for my needs.
23. My favourite musician is _______________.
24. The very (best/worst) film I have ever seen is _______________.
25. _______________ is my favourite holiday spot.
26. _______________ is my best subject this term.
27. The radio station I prefer is _______________.
28. _______________ is the best teacher I’ve ever had.
29. The political leader I most admire is _______________.
30. _______________ is my favourite city.

Process in Writing: Guidelines
Follow at least some ojthese steps in developing your essay through examples (your teacher may suggest which ones).
1. Choose a topic you think you like, and try it out through brainstorming or freewriting. Do you have something to say? Can you supply examples? If not, try another topic.

2. Visualize your audience: What level of language, what TONE, what examples, will communicate with this person or persons?

3. Do a rapid “discovery draft,” leave extra white-space. Do not stop now to fix things like spelling and grammar; just get the material down with pen or keyboard.

4. The next day, look this draft over. Are there enough examples? Or: Is your one long example explained in depth? If not, add more. Does each example support your main point? If not, revise. Are examples in order of increasing importance? If not, consider rearranging to build a climax.

5. Check your second draft for TRANSITIONS, and add if necessary. Test your prose by reading aloud, then revise awkward or unclear passages. Now reach for the dictionary and a grammar book(buttons, menus or tools) if you need them.

6. Proofread your final copy slowly, word by word (if your eyes move too fast, they will “see” what should be there, not necessarily what is there).

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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.”

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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.

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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

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Plinky Prompt

Imagine a new Voyager spacecraft is being built by NASA, and like its earlier counterparts, it’s going to carry the best of modern human culture inscribed onto a record. What belongs on there and why?

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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.

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Cities

Is the big city “a wondrous toy” as the song goes, or is it a hill of swarming ants? Is it a creative showcase for a country’s talent and skill or is it a drain on the energies of millions of people who must struggle for survival from day to day? Can it be both? Is it something else? What does the city mean to you? Describe your view of the city in specific detail.

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Crossword Puzzle: “Who Am I?”

Create a “Who Am I?” crossword puzzle for your group/class.

  • get every person’s name to fit somewhere
  • get at least one descriptive adverb or adjective for each person in the group
  • get at least one favorite activity listed for each person

Example clues:
Across:

  1. a friendly boy, when he’s not playing basketball
  2. Bob’s favorite sport

Use the following, or similar, crossword puzzle maker.

Attach a printable image(jpg or png) of your completed puzzle to a post in your blog.

crossword

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A Personal Connection to Art

Identify a work of art that for you holds a personal connection or significance. Select one of the following quotations and write an essay explaining how your chosen work of art does or does not support the quote.

“Art is coming face to face with yourself.” – Jackson Pollock

“The task which the artist implicitly sets himself, is to overthrow existing values, to make of the chaos about him an order which is his own, to sow strife and ferment, so that by the emotional release those who are dead may be restored to life.” – Henry Miller

“The subject matter of art is life, life as it actually is; but the function of art is to make life better.” – George Santayana

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