ENG 3U: The Anecdotal Introduction

Cafeteria (noun):  a sprawling jungle, full of wild animals ready to pounce on those that show any fear. What comes next? I’ve been to Australia twice so far, but according to my father I’ve never actually seen it. What comes next? I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe…

ENG 3U: What’s Your Organizing Principle?

An organizing principle is a basic idea or strategy we use to organize our world. Think of it this way: all of the methods you can use to sort your MP3s—by artist, by song title, or by date—are organizing principles. Your choice shapes the way you can access the files.  In a similar way, writers…

ENG 3U: 6 Questions, 6 Essays

Before you panic, know this: you only have to read one of these essays. In fact, you could conceivably read none of these essays, assuming that you find an essay elsewhere that intrigues you. Still, these essays are so good that you might want to read them all. Attitude by Margaret Atwood Where Do You…

ENG 3U: A Virtuoso Performance of Care

What is the difference between writing essays and being an essayist? It’s like the difference between playing hockey and being a hockey player, or acting in a play and being an actor.  The former is a thing you do, while the latter is a thing you are. I want all of you to be essayists….

ENG 3U: What’s Next?

Ladies and gents, We start our novel studies next Monday. What to do until then? This strikes me as the perfect opportunity to really explore choice (as long as whatever we do wraps up by Thursday). Here is what I’m thinking: Perhaps you want to turn your value message task into something more substantial. How…

ENG 3U: Difference is Good

So, I shared your topics with Ms. Metler and Mr. Marinelli last night. You impressed them, ladies and gents. Continue working on your notes today. Remember that you can arrange your notes in any way you wish, as long as your thinking is visible. Another option: use the Edge browser’s annotation feature to mark up…

ENG 3U: Anything

Today, we will take our first stab at academic freedom. This means that you can choose the text you will read/analyze/examine.  Exciting, huh? Still, as many creative people will tell you, absolute freedom can be strangely paralyzing. We need some constraints or guidelines to provide context for our endeavours.  Here is how we will proceed:…

ENG 4U: Prep for Literature Circles

Ladies and Gents, We don’t have class tomorrow. Sad. This means that we need to change our schedules. Originally, we were going to start our conferences tomorrow; now, we will move them to Friday or today, based on readiness. If you still need more time, don’t worry; Friday will work. Since we have spent roughly…

ENG 3U: Badges are Awesome

Today, I will show you the fancy badge system we will use to track your progress through the self-directed sections of this course. When I showed the system to Ms. Metler, she proclaimed, “Cool! This is just like the Girl Scouts!” I, of course, was thinking that the badges were much closer to video game…

ENG 3U: (insert your last name here)-esque

Kafkaesque. Tarantinoesque. Burtonesque.  These adjectives describe work that, in one way or another, reminds us of great creators. Tell  a violent story with strange, interwoven plots, and you might be compared to Tarantino.  Imbue your creative work with nightmarish commentary on the human experience, and readers might call you the next Kafka. “Esque” means a…

ENG 3U: Rethinking Voice

So, we’ve been learning about voice for the last few days; while we are making progress, I feel like we need to try a different approach.  Let’s see how this teacher defines the terms mood, tone, and voice. When the video is over, you will write short, informal definitions for the three terms:   Next,…

ENG 3U: Voice Revisited

Remember that your goal is to better understand the role that voice plays in a creator’s work.  Once again, here is a definition of voice: “A voice in literature is the form or a format through which narrators tell their stories. It is prominent when a writer places himself / herself into words and provides…