Monday, March 31, 2008
No. 7: The first and last stanzas of Easter 1916 by WB Yeats. (All changed, changed utterly/A terrible beauty is born). Partly to give Easter a different meaning, or another slant. Or maybe I just didn't want to go with a bunnies and eggs poem.
No. 8: The Identification by Roger McGough. I have always admired the accessible strength of his poems, how they are clear and also sharp as a blade. Was delighted to find there is a collected-poems available (Penguin, but in Oz it had to be a special order). This one also had particular resonance as an ex-student recently died in a car accident. His particular punctuation, though, does put me at odds with the school's literacy initiatives...oh well.
No. 9: Homework by Allen Ginsburg. A change of style and structure, it was a suggestion from a friend who's also playing with this poem of the week idea.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
While sites such as Facebook and MySpace are not accessible through the public school system computers in NSW, we still have a responsibility to point out to students the importance of their online privacy. I make it a habit to have my postcode, if I have to give one, as 2000, the postcode for central Sydney (an easily remembered lie) - but of course, this isn't a useful strategy for a social networking site in which location is important as part of your identity.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Among the books it discusses are:
- Where the wild things are (Maurice Sendak)
- Hide and seek (Irini Savvides)
- John Brown, Rose and the midnight cat (Jenny Wagner, ill. Ron Brooks)
- Old Pig (Margaret Wild, ill. Ron Brooks)
- Clinton Gregory's secret (Bruce Whatley)
- One dragon's dream (Peter Pavey)
- Puffling (Margaret Wild, ill. Julie Vivas)
I would of course point you in the direction of this article online, but I can't find it on the SMH website (by all means leave the link as a comment if you can find it). Figured that by mentioning it here, if you still have a paper copy of the Saturday paper you can track it down, if you wish.
Sendak's book is universally loved for its expression and subsequent taming of the beast in us all that can be unleashed by primal fears. Taming the beast of big business - which neutralises anything that cannot be controlled such as imagination or death, because the product is more palatably consumed - may be more challenging.
To anyone of imagination (children, for instance), being alive and the inevitability of death has its terrifying side. However, it is nowhere near as frightening as the Orwellian drive to brainwash us into believing consuming pap will somehow make us invincible.
Friday, March 14, 2008
The jury’s motivation is as follows:
“Sonya Hartnett (Australia) is one of the major forces for renewal in modern young adult fiction. With psychological depth and a concealed yet palpable anger, she depicts the circumstances of young people without avoiding the darker sides of life. She does so with linguistic virtuosity and a brilliant narrative technique; her works are a source of strength.”
- David Almond
- Aidan Chambers
- Quentin Blake
- John Burningham
- Anthony Browne
- Jean Craighead George
- Tomie de Paola
- Wolf Erlbruch (go the mole!!)
- Russell Hoban
- Eva Ibbotson
- John Marsden
- Walter Dean Myers
- Diana Wynne Jones
- Lisbeth Zwerger
- Sydney Morning Herald article about Hartnett's win
- another SMH article
- Guardian (UK)
- The Age
- CBC (Canada)
Things I Will Do If I Am Ever The Vampire has some absolute classics (given that we seem to be going thorough a phase of vampire fiction at present - not just Twilight, as blogged earlier, but also a bunch of other titles too are finding friends).
Here are a couple of examples from the vampire list linked above:
- The Hero will come armed with holy water, a cross and a stake. I will come armed with a 5.56 mm assault rifle and grenades. If the Hero has to cross open ground, there is no better way to reach out and touch someone than with a sniper rifle.
- I will not engage in a battle of wits with the Hero. I plan on killing him anyway so what's the point?
- I will not use bug-eating morons as servants. Pretty females dressed in little French maid outfits are more visually appealing and can also distract the Hero.
Apart from just being amusing (I have this one on my office door at present, it's always handy to have some engaging something or other there to occupy those waiting when the line of can-you-help-me-Miss? people gets long) lists like this can also be useful for English, studying clichés etc. and giving a format for students to decide on their own category to analyse/eviscerate/enjoy deconstructing.
Note: the list on the page linked above features US spelling, but also some misspellings (whether you're using US or Australian/UK English).
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
As with Wikipedia, its entries are written by its readers, and thus share the same reliability and unreliability.
From a school point of view, it provides another alternative in similar form for comparing/contrasting/evaluating.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
˙ǝɹǝɥ ɟןǝsɹnoʎ ɹoɟ ʇı ʎɹʇ
Monday, March 10, 2008
I'm printing this on turquoise-water-blue paper...
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
With the explosion of popularity of scrapbooking, the availability of different fonts (some for $$, some for free) on the net has also widened. One site I've used is Scrapvillage - the fonts page in its library section has a bunch of good ones that are easy to download. Here's the link.
I'm not sure of copyright in relation to these - my use has been restricted to school-use materials. For published works, eg. for a book or some such, the printer may need to purchase rights.
We're about to make more Harmony Day badges, and it's the combination of eyecatching fonts and intriguingly patterned scrapbooking papers that makes them sell well - they're graphically interesting and varied.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Adventuress Amazon Aphrodite Aunt Babe Bird Bitch Blonde Bluestocking Bra-burner Bride Broad Brunette Chick Crone Dame Daughter Debutante The Distaff Side Doll Donna Dowager Duchess Dyke Empress Eve Fairer Sex Female Feminine Feminist Femme Filly Frau Fraulein Gal Gentle Sex Girl Girlfriend Girlie Goddess Godmother Goodwife Gran Grandmother Granny Hag Harridan Hen Her Indoors Heroine Housekeeper Kitten Lady Lass Lassie Lesbian Little Woman Luv Ma Madam Mademoiselle Madonna Ma’am Maid Maiden Mama Mater Matriarch Matron Mem-Sahib Midwife Milady Miss The Missus Missy Mistress Moll Mom Mother Mrs Ms Mum Nan Nanna Niece Nun Nymph Old Maid Petticoat Pollyanna Priestess Princess Queen Redhead Senora Sheila Shrew Signora Signorina Siren Sis Sister Skirt Spinster Squaw Suffragette Sweetheart Venus Virago Wench Wife Witch
International Women’s Day March 8
Monday, March 3, 2008
I set about developing a collection. It is used every day. It gets heavy use for recreational reading (nobody gets pinged for being 'childish' or reading 'little kid books') and in the classroom, with English, Visual Arts and subjects involving the study of children all finding it useful.
A friend who's moved to a new school recently asked me for a list of recommendations for picture books for high school. I'll bing it on here over time (handy blog filler, you see, rather than tossing it on in one long list). These are ones we have here, that work. The list is in no particular order, except you're nuts if you don't have The story of the little mole in your library, because it's hilarious and gets in even the most reluctant kid (it's about poo, what's not to like about that?? - and I sometimes have seniors doing 'read aloud' sessions with it, because it makes them laugh).
- Holzwarth & Erlbruch: The story of the little mole who knew that it was none of his business
- Tan: The arrival
- French: Diary of a wombat
- Wheatley & Rawlins: My place
- Wild: Woolvs in the sitee
- Gerstein: The man who walked between the towers
- Gravett: Wolves
If you want to track any of them down, they're either in print or they're not...and places like dymocks.com.au or amazon.co.uk or amazon.com will give you synopses/reviews.
If you've got picture books that work well in your high school, feel free to leave a comment about any titles you'd particularly recommend - always happy to know about new possibilities.