Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Have a great summer; I look forward to seeing you again in the fall.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"You look beautiful, kid!"

Fine posts, so far. Keep up the superlative work. As a further challenge for those interested, are the any songs that fit interestingly with The Godfather Part I? Thinking of a plausible alternate soundtrack (as impressive as the original may be) is often both a rewarding challenge and a means of creating a deeply personal, emotional connection to a narrative.

I would submit "Arpeggi", by Radiohead, as the soundtrack for Michael's internal conflict right before he kills Sollozzo and McCluskey. The title is Italian, after all.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Let me make you an offer you can't refuse...

"Well, my friends -- are you ready to do me this service? I want you to use all your powers, all your skills," to create your new Godfather Blogs!

I am so glad you are excited about this unit. Please send me your new URLs right away. As a favour to you, I'll put them on my blog role (an offer you can't refuse).

Here are some questions/ideas to consider:

The Godfather was published during a tumultuous era that included the Vietnam War and the struggle for civil and women’s rights. What aspects of the film might have made it particularly appealing at the time?

Marlon Brando initially refused to be considered for the role of Don Corleone, saying “I won’t glorify the Mafia.” Does The Godfather indeed “glorify” organized crime?

Many critics have noted the plot’s symbolic relationship to the corruption of the American Dream. In what ways does The Godfather comment on America and on capitalism in particular?

Women are marginal in the world of the Corleones, seen only in relation to men. What impact if any do wives and mothers have on the central male characters?

Who is the “hero” of the film? What is Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey? How are myths similar to popular stories? Why do we like the stories we like? Are we psychologically/culturally predisposed to rate The Godfather as a top 100 film?

These are only a few of the questions that make this film a relevant subject for a literature course.

You are expected to
make at least three online additions in total per week:

A) Comment insightfully on other students' posts (this counts as an addition).

B) Add original posts that you sign. These should be relatively formal and grammatically careful: you need not be perfect, but use varied punctuation and sentence structures--writing is an art unto itself and reflects upon the artist.

Post in these categories:

Literary Feature Hunt
What literary features do you see that illuminate a specific theme?

Do you see this story following Joseph Campbell's concept of the Hero's Journey?
Do you see other archtypes?

Class Act
Refelect on class converstions providing relevant feedback: this is your chance to add your comments if we missed you in class.

The Human Condition
How does The Godfather Part I, in comparison with another work we have studied, illuminate some truth about the human condition? For example, what might we learn about being human by comparing and/or contrasting the treatment of "the outsider" in Twelfth Night and The Godfather Part I ? Pick an element that is in two texts and discuss why each text's treatment of this element matters to you.


Your work will be graded on the formative assessment rubric. I am looking for appropriate frequency and depth.

As a challenge for you hard-core English students, I will also add a monomyth wiki. Not mandatory, but definitely useful.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Unit Test DP Mock paper 2

Persepolis: Mock DP Paper 2

MYP Language A Rubric / 30
Knowledge /10
Skill /10
Style and Mechanics /10

With each answer, you must discuss the effect of literary features.
Often, this discussion is effective when you explain how literary features shape or illuminate the theme of a work, though this is not the only option.

Answer one of the following

Double-space your writing

1)Consider the presentation in Persepolis of justice and/or crime.

2) Write an essay comparing your chosen authors’ presentation of one or more of the following in the society in which the set the action of their work: birth and childhood,courtship and marriage,dying and death.

3)“Some of the most famous heroines represent what men desire in women, but not necessarily what women are in themselves.” Consider Persepolis in light of this statement.

4) Society is increasingly preoccupied with different cultures within themselves. How far have two works you have studied given you imaginative insight into different cultural practices and their social consequences, or political conflicts?

5)“We often criticize others for what we hate about ourselves.” Consider Persepolis in light of this statement.

I will cut 2 questions on Monday, so you need to prepare 3 answers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009



As an English teacher, I feel this particular colloquialism is kinda catchy.

The blogs are looking sweet--word up.

I am especially enjoying reading your comments, aside from the posts, though these are equally superlative examples of deep and effective reflection and collaboration. Very 21st century, grade 10s. Keep up the effort and try to improve your "formative assessment" skills.

For those new to this blog (I hear there are some teacher/librarian readers out there- hi there), check out the student posts on the blogrole to follow their study of Persepolis. Awesome stuff here, despite some wobbly writing here and there.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Welcome Back!

OK- I had a great break! Lots of BBQ, reading, boardgames and snowboarding: good times were had by all. I hope you also enjoyed your well deserved but temporary respite from the trials and tribulations of MYP life and once again feel like normal human beings.

I am particularly excited to return to Persepolis with you and would like to help you amplify your blog work.

The quality of ideas has been excellent and is good preparation for DP English/Self-Taught; however, the frequency leaves me bitter and existentially confused. :)

So, if you can't beat 'em, change the rules.

You now need to make only 3 entries per week. 2 can be on any of these categories: snippets, feedback, class act, or literary feature hunt.

The third post should be a comment on another student's post. Try to comment on a different person's work each week and sign your comments.

The wiki character web work is not optional, while failing the course is. I'd like to see this look more like a web that links characters intelligently and creatively.

We will be highlighting blogs each week to give credit and spark discussions.

We are starting at page 183 and will be moving up to 223 this week. The reading will not take that long, so my expectations for your blog and wiki work remain as high as your superlative potential.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Satrapi Interview

Check these out:
Marjane Satrapi is interviewed at the New York Film Festival.

*In the second clip, she explains the choice to make the movie with animation rather than real people. She talks about the universality of the characters and setting afforded by the comics/cartoon form. This exact concept is discussed by Scott McCloud in his book Understanding Comics (the one I showed you in class) in chapter two.