ENG 4U 2013: How to Spend Your Day

Ladies and gents,

  • Buses have been cancelled, but you still need to have your first activity ready for tomorrow’s discussion.  I’ve posted the list of potential activities below. The activities in red can be done even if you left your novel at school.  Please note that I’ve added an option or two at the bottom of the table (see 15-16).
  • I also bought a few more copies of Ready Player One for those students who requested them.
  • Those students who complete their blog entries on time will receive feedback from me. This feedback can be used to improve/tweak the blog entries before they are formally evaluated.
  1. Allusion-An allusion is a reference to some idea, event, or person that is known throughout the dominant culture. Allusions often serve the same function as a metaphor; they help the reader understand something by comparing it to something else. Identify two allusions in this section of the novel, find out more about them, and explain how they are relevant to the narrative.
  1. Song-ujam/video-Feeling creative? Create a short video or song that reflects the section of the novel you just completed. Videos should be 1 minute long; songs should feature at least 2 verses. If you are 18, or if you receive parental permission, consider using Ujam.com. You might be able to write the song on your PED. Use the blog entry to explain your song and its connection to the novel.
  1. Critical Essay-Find an academic source/essay that focuses on key elements of this section of the novel.  You must explain the essay’s thesis and key points, and add ideas of your own.
  1. Apply the School-Choose a literary school discussed so for this semester, and write a blog entry explaining how a member of this school might read this section.
  1. A Trustworthy Narrator?-One of the dangers of a first-person narrative is that the narrator can misread events, misunderstand other characters, and even manipulate the reader.  With specific references to the text, explain why the narrator’s version of events may be unreliable.
  1. On the Author:  Watch this interview with Margaret Laurence (http://archives.cbc.ca/on_this_day/01/05/) or this interview with Yann Martel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BzqsKLbGpM).  If you are reading another book, find an interview with the author. Make specific connections between what the author says about his/her work (or life) and this section of the text.
  1. An Argument: In a letter to one of the characters, criticize his/her actions in this section of the novel.  Make sure that your displeasure is clear; remember to be specific!
  1. Parenting 101: Using the actions of a parent in this section as inspiration, write a humorous how-to manual for bad parenting. Provide specific references to the events of the novel.
  1. Rewrite a Key Moment: Dissatisfied with a key moment in this section? Should the characters have made different choices? Rewrite it. Remember that your group members will want to understand you choices, so be prepared to explain your ideas.
  1. Zeitgeist:  Writers need to capture zeitgeist, or the spirit of the times, in order to create a believable world. If you are reading Life of Pi, found out more about the political/social strife in India while Pi was a child. If you are reading Stone Angel, found about the struggles of being living in isolation on the prairies. If you are reading another novel, look for connections between the novel and the events of the times. 
  1. Communication?:  Explain the techniques that one of the characters uses to obscure the truth.
  1.  Survival: Some struggles are physical, forcing protagonists to fight for their lives. Others are social, mental, or even spiritual, requiring the central character to overcome barriers that they may have created themselves.  If you choose this option, explain how the protagonist struggles to survive in this section.
  1. The truth in 5 images:  Find 5 images that you think reflect what happens in this section of the novel.  The connections between the images and the text can be literal or figurative.  Save these images in your blog entry, and write the rest of the blog entry describing the connections between the photos and the text.
  1.  An Interview with John Le Carre: Listen to the CBC interview with the author of The Spy Who Came into the Cold. http://www.cbc.ca/writersandcompany/episode/2011/07/03/john-le-carre-interview-part-one-encore/.  Write a blog entry focusing either on Le Carre’s life, or the inspiration for his work. 
  1. A Cultural Phenomenon:  Ready Player One has resonated with thousands of readers. In fact, if you visit http://www.readyplayerone.com/, you will find fan art, fan reviews, and other pieces of media. After scanning the website, write a blog entry that explains the passion that this book has elicited from fans; make sure you explain why you think the book has garnered these responses.
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5 thoughts on “ENG 4U 2013: How to Spend Your Day

    1. You may record the audio or video if you wish, or you can simply add the lyrics to your blog entry.

      Remember that regardless of your choice, you still need to add approx. 250 words explaining your song.

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