2013 guidelines and overview


Posted by pbakes | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on February 4, 2013

Grade 9 English in 2013 is using the new ACARA English curriculum for Grade 9 students in Australia.

Requirements for Grade 9 English – for every lesson

1. Laptop with dictionary/thesaurus bookmarked – charged and ready for every lesson
2. Laptop with www.vocabulary.com www.betterspellers.blogspot.com.au and http://pbakesenglish.edublogs.org bookmarked
3. 1 current reading book/magazine
4. 1 exercise book covered and named
5. 1 document wallet to store printed handouts and assignments
6. 1 Google document called “Spelling and Vocabulary” shared with me
7. 1 Google document called “reading journal” shared with me

Note there are three strands to our English course based on the Australian curriculum

1. Language
2. Literature
3. Literacy

Year overview

Term 1:
Our changing language, persuasive writing, feature articles, spelling and vocabulary, private reading

Term 2:
NAPLAN, Power and Conflict (The Wave), spelling and vocabulary

Term 3:
Indigenous poetry with a focus on Kath Walker, spelling and vocabulary, private reading

Term 4:
Exam, Indigenous and Asian short stories and extracts, spelling and vocabulary

1. Homework is an essential thing to talk about – sometimes it will be preparation for class, some of it will be ongoing expected work and some of it will be after class work.
Whichever it is, there is no excuse for not doing homework.
2. Effort and application in class and allowing other people to work
3. Completing and handing in assignments on time – occasionally house points will be allocated for those who get work in on time – you won’t know when.
4. We will have a spelling and vocabulary focus and will test words each week. They will be related to the ideas we are examining

Words are powerful part 2


Posted by pbakes | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 1, 2012

Here is a devotional thought from The Word for Today that is highly applicable to our understanding that the words we speak can bring life or death for people

The Right Word at the Right Time
‘What you say can mean life or death’ Proverbs 18:21 NCV
There’s a story about a teacher who, to honour her students, gave each a ribbon that stated, ‘Who I am makes a difference,’ and asked them to pass it along to someone who’d made a difference in their lives. One kid gave his to a young executive who helped him plan his career. He in turn gave it to his boss, who was hard to get along with. He told him how much he’d been influenced by his creativity, and asked him to give the ribbon to somebody he admired. That night the boss told his fourteen-year-old son, ‘I’ve thought about who I want to honour-and it’s you. My days are hectic, and I’m always complaining about your grades and your messy bedroom. Tonight I want to let you know the difference you’ve made in my life. Besides your mother, you’re the most important person I know, and I love you.’ Fighting back tears, the boy replied, ‘Earlier today I wrote a letter explaining why I’d taken my life, and asking you to forgive me. I was going to do it when everybody was asleep. I didn’t think you’d care. I guess I won’t need the letter now.’ Upstairs in his son’s room the father found the anguish-filled note beside a loaded gun. God can help you to ‘…speak a word in season to him who is weary…’ (Isaiah 50:4 NKJV) Words change lives: ‘What you say can mean life or death.’ So go out of your way today to speak words of encouragement to somebody you don’t normally think about. ‘…a word spoken at the right moment-how good it is!’ (Proverbs 15:23 AMP)

SoulFood: Deut 18:9-18, Dan 2, Isa 47:5-15, Acts 16:16-34

Words have power


Posted by pbakes | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 28, 2012

The world is a dangerous place,
not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

Albert Einstein

Ephesians 4: 29. The Bible says:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, so that it may benefit those who listen.”

In another version it says this: “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift”

A third version says this: “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.


We are viewing the film Bully as part of this unit

Bully (originally titled The Bully Project) is a 2011 documentary film about bullying in U.S. schools. Directed by Lee Hirsch, the film follows the lives of five students who face bullying on a daily basis. Bully premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. It was also screened at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and the LA Film Festival.
Bully had its global premiere at Italy’s Ischia Film Festival on July 17, 2011. The film was released in United States theaters on March 30, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bully_(2011_film)

Here is a link to the documentary movie we will be viewing this week – please view it before we watch the film


Please read this information on documentaries from Curriculum Organiser

Documentaries are similar to feature articles. A documentary’s purpose is to inform and entertain. It explores facts by presenting information to the viewer, and/or commenting on its significance.

Documentaries are perceived to be more ‘real’ than other TV programs. They are perceived as powerful tools in political circles. Generally, non-commercial documentaries have more credibility than those on commercial stations.

Nature, travel and current events documentaries occupy a lot of screen time. They use the same codes as other entertainment but vary in the way they are constructed. Some collect evidence in the field, which makes nature documentaries so appealing. They take the viewer to places that are generally out of reach, creating interesting scenes that require patience and time.

Some compile old footage. This gives the impression of history, a context, a time and place. Recreating the past in a documentary provides a context for the present.

Other documentaries have a lot of narration. This adds a voice of authority to the content. If the narrator is well known to the viewer, it adds greater credibility, regardless of the narrator’s authority on the subject matter.

Dramatic recreation is another style of documentary. It employs the techniques of drama, which adds the emotive dimension. Recreating scenes, for example courtroom scenes, allows filmmakers to create sensational views of the idea being presented.

Cinema-verite is a style of documentary that keeps the camera running irrespective of the action. Its purpose is to capture a sense of real life, not a construction of it. Reality TV had its beginnings as cinema-verite. It is a very old style of film. During World War Two, the camera would be left to film certain action. This style of documentary is still a construction. The people of the film are influenced by the presence of the camera. Producer’s work on the construction and angles as soon as they start filming.

Television news and current affairs programs are a selective, constructive commodity. They are sold to viewers as information, but commonly operate as entertainment.

Dialogue – conversations that take place between subjects in a film (or subjects and the filmmaker)
Factual –attempting to relay information that is accurate about something real or actual; based on facts
Fictional – something invented or imagined; a made-up story
Footage – refers to all material used in a film, including edited and unedited sequences
Opinion – an evidence-based personal belief or judgment that, unlike a fact, can be disputed by another person without either of you being wrong (e.g., Vanilla is the best flavor for ice cream)
Persuade – to cause to believe; convince
Point of View – sometimes abbreviated as POV, the perspective from which a story is told; in film, also refers to a shot that depicts a character’s outlook or position
Re-enactment – a depiction created at a later time than the actual event
Represent – to re-tell; all media is a representation of something (e.g., a photograph of a horse is not the actual horse; it represents the horse)
Stock footage (archival footage) – footage that is included in a film that is often shot by another filmmaker or for another project and not specifically for the film
Subjects – the topics of the film or the people the film features
Voice-over – a production technique or creative device in which an off-screen voice is used for narration. This voice often establishes context and was recorded at another point in time.

sourced from: http://www.pbs.org/pov/docs/Vocabulary%20Handout.pdf

4. An anti-bullying video made by an elementary school in America. http://english12applied.wordpress.com/bullying-links/

Robert Frost


Posted by pbakes | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 9, 2012

The poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was written by Robert Frost, an American poet in 1922. The poem tells the story of a man riding his horse through a forest alone on the darkest night of the year. Ironically he wrote the poem on a summers evening and was published in a book of poetry that earned Frost a Pulitzer prize for literature.

The following web address takes you to a clip of Robert Frost reciting this poem frost.html

As you listen to him read the poem what do you notice about his tone and speed and how does this add to your understanding of the poem.

Jealousy by Carissa Marley


Posted by pbakes | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 30, 2012

Jealously by Carissa Marley

Jealousy is a monster
Creeping up from behind.
It slides its way into us
And tries to make us blind.

A writhing, wriggling snake,
It wraps around our heart.
We want to try and stop it,
But don’t know where to start.

Jealousy is a feeling
We all get deep inside
When someone else achieves that dream
We wanted all the time.

It drowns out all the good things –
Our life crashes to the floor.
We start to do and say things
We never would before.

But slowly we defeat it,
Despite the lengthy haul.
Although it’s slow and painful,
We finally let it fall.

Jealousy is a monster,
But when finally put to rest
It teaches us the truth that
We won’t always be the best.

1. In this poem the poet has used the concept of jealousy as the ‘green eyed monster’ and extends it in a series of metaphors. Identify the metaphor in stanza one of the poem.
Show how the poet develops the metaphor in the stanza. Does the word “blind” indicate (a) a physical state (b) a mental state?

2. What is the metaphor in stanza two of the poem? What does jealousy do to the human heart?

3. Why do we envy other people?

4. What effect does jealousy have on our thoughts and actions?

5. Identify the lines which reveal that man can overcome jealousy.

6. Why, do you think, the poet uses the pronouns ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’?

7. What is the mood of the poem? How does the rhythm of the poem help to lift the mood?

8. What is the message the poet wishes to convey?

9. Identify all the examples of alliteration in the poem.

10. Underline every line that expresses something that couldn’t literally be true.


Poetry is repetition – scanning poetry


Posted by pbakes | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 17, 2012

When a poet writes a structured piece of poetry – sonnet, ballad, quatrain etc – they are seeking to achieve a specific rhyme and/or rhythm pattern. This is done by paying special attention to the metre which is the basic rhythmic (beat) structure of a line or lines of verse. The regularity is achieved by combining weak (unstressed) and strong (stressed) syllables into a repetitive pattern.

Rhythm comes from the Greek (rheo) meaning to flow
Metre comes from the Greek (metron) meaning to measure

Each line of poetry consists of a series of words which can be broken into syllables. A syllable can have a stressed or an unstressed emphasis. A syllable is each part of a word that has one single vowel sound

Try this source: how to scan poetry

When poetry is scanned each stressed syllable is shown with a ‘/’ while an unstressed syllable is shown with an ‘x’. In the examples below stressed syllables are shown in bold

recognized metres are

iamb (weak/strong) – a double rising rhythm

So long / as men / can breathe, / or eyes / can see,
So long / lives this, / and this / gives life / to thee.

Shakespeare – Sonnet 18

trochee (strong/weak) a double falling rhythm

Double, / double, / toil and / trouble;
Fire / burn and / cauldron / bubble.

Witches in Macbeth by Shakespeare

anapest (weak/weak/strong) a triple rising rhythm

The Assyr / ian came down / like a wolf / on the fold
And his co / horts were gleam/ ing in pur / ple and gold
And the sheen / of their spears / was like stars / on the sea
When the blue/ wave rolls night / ly on deep/ Galilee.

Byron’s The Destruction of Sennacherib:

dactyl (strong/weak/weak) a triple falling rhythm

Just for a / handful of / silver he / left us
Just for a/ riband to / stick in his / coat

Robert Browning The Lost Leader

amphibrach (weak strong weak) a rocking rhythm

All ready / to put up / the tents for / my circus.
I think I / will call it / the Circus / McGurkus.
And NOW comes / an act of / Enormous / Enormance!
No former / performer’s / performed this / performance!

Dr Seuss: If I ran the circus

spondee (strong/strong) – often only seen as part of a line

Be near / me when/ my light / is low,
When the blood creeps / and the nerves prick (note the two spondees in this line)
And tingle; / and the heart / is sick,

In Memorium by Alfred Tennyson

When you repeat these patterns in a line you set up a particular rhythm.

Lines of poetry are named according to how many of these patterns (called feet) are in a line

Iambic pentameter, for example, has 5 iambs in the one line making a total of 10 syllables.

monometer is 1 foot
dimeter is 2 feet
trimeter is 3 feet
tetrameter is 4 feet
pentameter is 5 feet
hexameter is 6 feet
heptameter is 7 feet
octameter is 8 feet

Now complete the poetry worksheet handed out in class.

Pakistani Christians, fearing backlash, flee community after girl is accused of blasphemy


Posted by pbakes | Posted in Class novel | Posted on August 26, 2012

The following story was posted online by the Washington Post on August 21st. In reading this article I see parallels with the Wave movement created by teacher Ben Ross in the story “The Wave”.

After reading the article post a comment on ypour blog describing the links you see with the movement Mr Ross created. This is blog task 7

Please read this article found in full at d3b23c9a-eae3-11e1-866f-60a00f604425_story.html

If not the text is here.

By Richard Leiby, Published: August 21

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Everyone in the teeming, tense community of Muslims and Christians just outside Islamabad seems to have a different story about the young girl and the Koran.

The 12-year-old Christian deliberately burned the Muslim holy book, some say. No, she innocently put pages from a non-sacred teaching text into the trash, say others, and nothing was burned. Still another version holds that an older Muslim boy planted pages of the Koran for the cleaning girl to find and then leveled the accusation of desecration because she had spurned him.

Amid the conflicting claims, this much is certain: As many as 600 Christians have fled their colony bordering the capital, fearing for their lives, officials said, after a mob last week called for the child to be burned to death as a blasphemer.

The girl, who authorities have described as mentally challenged, sits in jail in Rawalpindi, charged by police with blasphemy, while her family has been put in federal protective custody. The evidence against her is muddled at best, but police said they arrested her in part to assuage the mob and also because they knew she would be safer in jail.

“The one who burned the Koran should be burned,” said Shaukhat Ali, an assistant at the local mosque, expressing a sentiment shared by many Muslims in the community.

Under Pakistani law, those found guilty of defaming the Islamic prophet Muhammad face the death penalty, while defiling the Koran can bring a life sentence. The case of the girl is the fourth in recent months to alarm human rights advocates, who say the law is frequently used to persecute Christians and also has been unfairly applied to the mentally ill — including some Muslims.

Liberal-to-moderate Pakistanis see the rise in blasphemy allegations as a reflection of a dangerous ascent of extremism and anti-Western sentiment throughout society.

“Most of the people consider the Christians here to represent the West,” said Paul Bhatti, who heads the Ministry of National Harmony — a post created after his younger brother, Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic and minority affairs minister, was assassinated last year by the Pakistani Taliban for advocating reform of the blasphemy laws.

Shahbaz Bhatti was the second prominent politician killed in 2011 for his opposition to the laws: Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, was gunned down by a member of his security retinue who immediately confessed and was widely celebrated in Pakistan for defending Islam.

Christians are easy targets for false claims by accusers with ulterior motives. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari took “serious note” of the girl’s arrest, said a spokesman, who quoted him as saying, “Blasphemy by anyone cannot be condoned, but no one will be allowed to misuse the blasphemy law for settling personal scores.”

In an interview Sunday night at his heavily guarded office in Islamabad, Bhatti said such allegations are usually leveled against the poor and the powerless. The 50-year-old physician said he has drawn no firm conclusions about the girl’s case but knows one thing: Even if cleared, she and her family can never return to their home.

“If she is not guilty, some can understand and they can forgive,” he said. “But there are people who just want to have death.”

The slum where the 12-year-old lived is typical of other desperately poor Christian enclaves in and around the comparatively prosperous capital. Many Christians live in lean-tos and toil as trash pickers or wood scavengers.

The incident involving the girl happened Thursday afternoon, evidently while she was gathering trash — but beyond that, everything is in dispute. Some locals claim to have witnessed her and her mother burning the entire Koran.

But Tahir Muhammad, a 30-year-old shop owner and landlord, said the girl found just one page of the holy book while cleaning a house, mixed it with other papers and burned it.

A 10-year-old neighborhood girl said she saw the whole thing and took the ashes to the mosque — with no pages of the Koran extant. In interviews Sunday, two men at the mosque said that only ashes remained and that the imam mixed in some pages himself before turning over the “evidence” to police.

“Somebody must be confused when they said pages were mixed in — no such thing happened,” Imam Hafiz Muhammad Zubair said Monday. He said community leaders decided to turn the girl and her mother over to police for their safety.

“Both the women confessed to us that they had indeed burned the Koran,” he said.

Various tellings of the incident spread Friday to other mosques. Some outside religious leaders and locals encouraged Muslims to converge on the Christian enclave, but others counseled restraint, said Bhatti, who talked with several clerics.

An estimated 500 to 1,000 Muslims, including many outsiders, turned out Friday to demand punishment for the alleged blasphemer, blocking a nearby highway and burning tires. The mob also menaced police.

Other Muslims, who said they count Christians among their friends, said they oppose vigilantism. But, they said, if the girl is found guilty, the Christians must leave for good.

“The people here are not extremists,” said Asad Riaz, a worshiper in his late 20s who was at the mosque Sunday evening, “but this has provoked them.”

The imam sounded a note of conciliation, but with conditions. “It isn’t really those poor folks’ fault,” Zubair said, “but we will wait and see what the official verdict against her is — and if they are guilty, then decide accordingly.”

Over the weekend, Bhatti said, hundreds of residents of the Christian enclave began to migrate to other colonies in Islamabad, where they have remained. Authorities said they could not guarantee their safety if they return.

Some Christians who stayed in the area said shopkeepers are refusing to sell them food and have issued threats.

“They said they will burn our house down if we don’t leave,” said a 17-year-old who lived near the accused girl’s family. “They are also saying that since a woman burned the Koran, they will come after our women now.”

He and his cousin, perched nervously on a motorbike, would soon be migrating to Islamabad, too, they said, before taking off into the night.

Anam Zehra contributed to this report.

Class novel: The Wave


Posted by pbakes | Posted in Class novel | Posted on June 22, 2012

Here are some thought provoking quotes about books from some famous authors.

Taken from the website: en.proverbia.net › Art

1. The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them.
Mark Twain (1835-1910) U.S. humorist, writer, and lecturer.

2. All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.
Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961) American Writer.

3. Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors.
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist, poet, and dramatist.

4. Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist and philosopher.

Task. Post a comment here describing what makes a good story for you.

This term we are reading a novel by Todd Strasser called “The Wave” which is based on a true story. What can we learn about life and about ourselves by reading this novel??

The real story occurred in America, at a school called Cubberley High School where one of the History teachers was Mr Ron Jones. He decided to try and explain to his class what fascism was and how it occurred and decided to do this through a game. However the dramatically rising power of the game – called The wave – led to him stopping the experiment well before it created true chaos. Mr Jones and his experiment became a topic of national debate. It was not a good experience for the school or for the students

On his own website Ron Jones said this:

“I’m not proud of The Wave but I can’t escape it! It is like a calling that just gets louder! For me The Wave is a story of ghosts. What we can be. The allure of good and evil. Choices…”

The story we are going to read is a dramatisation of the account written by Ron Jones which was called The Third Wave. The story also became a movie made in Germany called Die Welle which was listed as one of the best foreign films in 2008.

You can read more about this at the-third-wave-1967-account-ron-jones

Work to be completed after reading each chapter is found on the page called ‘Novel chapter tasks’

Novel assignment work is found on the page called “Novel assignment tasks”

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