English 12 Poetry Assignment – Updated!

Grade 12s —

Here is a fun (really!) assignment for you all to do during our poetry unit. This will be due after Spring Break. We will be working on it on and off while we do other things.

Click here for the detailed document. 

(short version below)

You’ll choose one (published) poem for each year of high school – Grade 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. A poem that captures something important about that year for you. It can be serious or lighthearted or a mix of both. 

Use websites like: 

Poetry Foundation


Poetry Archive

to find your poems. All these websites allow you to look at themes

You can also include up to 2 spoken word poems, if you’d like.  (Try the Button Poetry channel on Youtube). 

You’ll also create something to go alongside THREE of the poems, to respond to it and engage with the ideas. You can do some combination of:

  • A poem of your own, on a similar theme
  • A very short memoir, on a similar theme
  • A piece of visual art, music, dance

Criteria to follow….

Due April 11

GIS – Religion presentation

Hi Class,

Here’s an example for you for the presentations:

Click here to go to the example


This is an example of the structure, not the only way to do it. If you have a lot of content on beliefs, you may need a few slides. However, I’d like you to focus as much as possible on practices and what people actually do!

We will begin presentations on WEDNESDAY next week (Feb 27). Please be practiced and prepared. You can use your notes.


Presentations Next Week

Hi everyone,

It sounds like between absences and a TOC who didn’t see the instructions, most of you have not completed my signup form for the presentation scheduling. (You can still complete it! Link is in the post below!)

For those of you who read the instructions, completed the form, and selected Tuesday or Thursday, you get the time you picked. For everyone else, I’m expecting you to be ready to go this week (yes, that means Tuesday). If you are A-L and have a grad transitions interview on Tuesday and you are in Period 2, you can go on Thursday. Otherwise you need to be ready to present. We don’t have time for this to get pushed off forever – end of term is coming up and many of you will have tests and other big assignments coming up.

If there are extenuating circumstances – you need to email me and let me know! I’ll be on and off email this weekend. 

On a more positive note the questions and ideas you are exploring are very interesting. Remember for the synthesis:

  • COMPARE your articles – what ideas/arguments did they have in common?
  • CONTRAST your articles – what were the significant or relevant differences?
  • EVALUATE – If the ideas in the articles were different, which did you find more convincing and why?
  • CONNECT – Explain how the learning you gained from the inquiry process have deepened your understanding of the novel.

Thursday February 14 – English 12

Hi English 12,

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope you enjoyed your day off on Tuesday.

Today is the last day you have for working on your presentations. Good things to do today:

  • Polish up your slideshow and notes
  • Practice your presentation for a friendly audience (remember you need to know your material well enough to expressively speak TO the class)
  • Complete your bibliography in MLA style
  • Fill out the form below to schedule your presentation time

On Friday I will post a schedule of presentation times, so please check back here. Remember you need to email me your presentation in advance of your date. Presentation days will be full, so we’ll start right at the beginning of class.


Presentation Proposal

Hi English 12,

As I mentioned when we went over the project, you have a PROPOSAL due on February 4 at the end of class. It will be marked out of 3. You must submit it by the end of class on February 4.

If it is 100% complete and in on time, you will get 3/3. If it is partially complete I’ll deduct marks as needed (2/3 if most of it is there; 1/3 if only a little is there). 

You need to include:

  • Your inquiry question, or your best shot at it.
  • An explanation of the connection between your inquiry question, and the novel. Why is the question pertinent to your novel?  This should be a few sentences long.
  • The key words you plan to use in your search. If you have found any articles already, you can include their titles or links.



QUESTION: How does the death of a sibling affect teenagers?

Context: Holden Caufield, the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, loses his brother Allie to leukemia at age 13. Throughout the novel, Holden, who seems to be heading towards a psychological breakdown, thinks of Allie frequently, often in moments of distress. Because Holden was sent to boarding school at a young age and seems disconnected from his family, it seems likely that he is still deeply affected by Allie’s death.

This inquiry will allow me to better understand the psychological effect of the loss of a sibling, and will give me more insight into Holden’s character. It will also help me evaluate to what degree Salinger’s portrayal of Holden accords with our present understanding of the experience of grief.

Search Keywords: sibling loss, sibling grief, sibling death, (+adolescents)

English 12 – Looking for Articles?

Hi English 12,

First, here is a link to the Inquiry Question PowerPoint:

 Formulating an Inquiry Question

Here are some suggestions for finding the articles you’ll use in your inquiry presentation.

First, you need to come up with some KEYWORDS for your searches. Look at your question – what are the most important word(s) in it? What are some synonyms for those words? 

For example – if I’m working on Lord of the Flies and my question is:

Why do otherwise reasonable people participate in acts of brutality in mobs? 

I know I might want to look for articles about “mob mentality”. I can also look at “herd mentality” and “pack mentality”. 

Once you have your keywords, begin using site-specific search engines. Some publications you could look at include:

The Atlantic

The New York Times

The Globe and Mail (CAD)

Scientific American





The Walrus (CAD)



(and many others….)

You can also search “keyword + articles” which may or may not help you.

Sometimes Wikipedia articles have a good list of references, with links. These can be good places to look, too. 

Choice Novel Journal Assignment

Hey 12s,

Here is a digital copy of your choice novel reading journal assignment:

Choice novel journal assignment 2019

And here are some questions/topics you can use to inspire journals. I’m doing this from memory and will update when I’m back at school and can work from the list I made up for you on Tuesday.

  • Draw and label a map of the setting of your book, or a key part of the setting
  • Do a mini body biography for a major character
  • Choose a quote you find compelling, and write about it in the context of the rest of the story
  • Explore a character’s perspective, who is not a narrating character (someone whose thoughts and feelings we can’t see)
  • Explore the writer’s use of a literary element, like symbol, irony, metaphor, etc
  • Explore a connection to a personal experience you’ve had
  • Explore a connection to other academic learning – explain a related scientific concept, historical event, psychological concept, etc
  • Explore a connection to politics, current events, or culture (“culture” can include anything that happens that people talk about in person or online)
  • Explore a connection to another book you’ve read, film/TV you’ve watched

English 12 – Catcher Test Info

Hi English 12,

Unfortunately I was unexpectedly away today. Here is more info about your test on Friday. 

Friday – PARAGRAPH test for Catcher. You will write 2 longer literary paragraphs, that show your understanding of the text overall. Each will be marked out of 12. I will be marking holistically, which means I will be looking at your written expression (organization, style, mechanics) as well as the depth of understanding of the text. Remember that A-level grades (10,11,12s) need to reflect THEMATIC understanding of the text as well as a good response to the question. 

You will be able to use your novel. A few sticky notes are OK but no extensive notes. You will be given a selection of questions to work from.

Here are some sample questions. You can do one or more for practice and I will make time to give you feedback while we do test prep on Wednesday. There will also be some quotes that serve as prompts (but I didn’t have my book handy while I was prepping these): 

  • In an organized paragraph, discuss how Allie’s death has affected Holden. You can focus on one part of Holden’s character or life, or discuss more broadly.
  • In an organized paragraph, discuss Holden’s relationship with Phoebe. What are his hopes and fears for her? Be as specific as you can.
  • Do you think Holden was justified in abandoning his education at Pencey Prep? Why or why not?


Practice test paragraphs 

Note about all above:

-The webs are for planning. I’ve tried to capture my main points as well as specific examples I can use

-The paragraphs are FIRST DRAFTS written in class. They are not perfect! But I have tried to keep them organized, well-supported, and connected to the themes of the novel.

Other resources

-SparkNotes has good summary and analysis pages

-A Google search will lead you to other teachers’ essay topics. Quality may be uneven…

-Here is the marking package for the Provincial Exam. Scroll down a few pages for the 6 point scale for paragraph (“Stand Alone Text”) – https://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/exams/search/grade12/english/release/key/1213en_pk.pdf