Hip Hop Workshop

Your task:

In a group of 3-5, write 4* bar rap based on the topic given.

*or 8 … or 16 … + …

Performance can involve one or more of your group members:

  • rapping
  • singing
  • dancing
  • beat boxing/clapping etc

You can use of any the beats below if you would like to.

Support: hand your rap to someone else to perform it for you.


To get your raps going, take a look at these lists of words and rhymes:

Choose one of these beats as the backing track for your rap:

1.  Award Tour (A Tribe Called Quest)


2.  The Definition


3.  Watch Out Now (Beatnuts)


4. Worst comes to worst (Dilated Peoples)


For more information about Monday’s MCs, start with these links:

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Poems celebrating life!


Carpe Diem!

a) YouTube Preview Image

b) In groups, create an A3 poster that both annotates and illustrates a carpe diem poem (you might want to use this handout)

c) Listen to this song by the Scotish band, Elbow.  In what way is this song a carpe diem poem?

YouTube Preview Image

lippy: cheeky, giving back-chat

Simeon stroll: walking like a neanderthal, muscular, hunched

d) Write a carpe diem poem that urges teens to make the most of time (eg. the summer holidays, school years, a soccer season, a school disco etc).  Perhaps this is something you would like to enter in the Oxley Poetry Competiton.

 Living the good life

What do you think are the things that make up a happy life?

Read The Means to Attain a Happy Life and Here’s to opening and upward

  1. draw a venn diagram: what do  Henry Howard, Earl of Surry, and e. e. Cummings think are the components of a happy life?
  2. what do the language features in Howard’s poem convey about Howard’s sense of ‘happiness’? What do cummings’ language choices reveal about his sense of ‘happiness’? Add these observations to your venn diagram.
  3. Are either of these carpe diem poems?  Why do you think that? (hint: tone)
  4. Do some research: who was Henry Howard?  what happened in his life? How does an understanding of context change* your reading of this poem? (*challenge, enrich, redefines, supports…)
  5. **optional** Do you know other texts that celebrate the joys of daily life in this way? How is language used effectively in those texts?
  6. Write a poem that wraps up what you think makes a good life, based on:
        • your own perspective
        • the perspective of someone in your family
        • what you imagine might be the desires of one of the people in this Unicef photo essays. (Hint: look at the human rights mentioned in the captions of the photographs)




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Ekphrastic Poetry

Why study poetry?

Complete this worksheet as you watch the clip below.

YouTube Preview Image

Symbols and Poetry

Complete this table to analyse the possible meanings of symbols.


Applying our understanding of ekphrasis

Download this document.

  • List the first words that come to mind when you look at this artwork.
  • What is happening in this artwork? What story is being told?
  • Who or what is the subject of the painting? How would you describe them?
  • What is the mood of the artwork? What sounds, smells, feelings, tastes could you associate with it?
  • How does this artwork connect with you personally? Why did you choose it?
  • Now that you have closely observed the artwork, how would you summarize its main idea?
  • complete the activity in the document you downloaded on ONE of the paintings supplied.  This will include both analysis and writing an original poem.


An Artist’s Life

Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Don McLean’s Starry Starry Night

  1. Examine the painting. Cover the picture. Write down as many features (buildings, colours, shapes etc) as you can remember. Discuss as a class: why are they memorable?
  2. Students work in small groups to analyse the painting, using this worksheet.View the Starry, Starry Night Animation
    YouTube Preview Image
  3. PARAGRAPH RESPONSE: How has McLean used the language of visual art to create his poem?
        1. Step 1: Listen to Don McLean perform Starry, Starry Night. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxHnRfhDmrk
        2. Step 2: Annotate the poem paying particular attention to language, form and features. Ask students to identify the words in the poem related to painting.
        3. Step 3: Students create a Venn diagram: Similarities between Visual and Verbal Arts. Ask students to consider word choice, brushstrokes, colour, medium, point of view, perspective, purpose, main idea, subject, setting, period etc.
        4. Step 4: Student complete a hamburger paragraph answering this question: What are the similarities and differences between the arts of painting and writing poems?
        5. Read the Feature Article: Don McLean interview: Why I had to write ‘Vincent’.
              • How does McLean’s work pay homage to van Gogh?
              • Imagine you are McLean and write a fan letter to Vincent Van Gogh. What do you think McLean would want to say to Vincent?
              • How would he explain his song and why he wrote it?
            1. PARAGRAPH RESPONSE: How has McLean used music and words to capture the essence of the painting?

Vincent Van Gogh’s Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles and Jane Flanders’ poem Van Gogh’s Bed

Jane Flanders’ approach to this painting is based on the assumption of the reader’s familiarity with the painting. As van Gogh is a well-known artist when the poem was written (1985), some assumption can be made, but not to the depth of Flanders’ very personal poem.

  1. Around the painting ask students to write their comments on the painting. Using the painting terminology they have acquired in their analysis of Starry, Starry Night.
  2. Read the article in The New York Times: Van Gogh’s True Palette Revealed by Nina Seigal (April 29th 2013). In her article Seigal asks does our experience of this painting change upon learning that van Gogh had originally depicted those walls in violet, not blue, or that he was less a painter wrestling with his demons and more of a deliberate, goal-oriented artist?
      • What does the article reveal about van Gogh’s painting and his original intention?

3.  Read and annotate Flanders’ poem Van Gogh’s Bed (alredy pasted into your books). Has reading the poem changed your perspective on the painting?

How does your bedroom room reflect who you are? The pale blues, golden yellows, and cool greens in the painting connote a sense of tranquility. Van Gogh wrote to his brother describing the colours he chose: “The pale, lilac walls, the uneven, faded red of the floor, the chrome-yellow chairs and bed, the pillows and sheet in very pale lime green, the blood-red blanket, the orange-colored wash stand, the blue wash basin, and the green window,” stating, “I wanted to express absolute repose with these different colors.”1

DOL: Visual Representation

Your task is to paint, sketch or create a collage that represents your own bedroom. Try to think like van Gogh. Why have you chosen certain colours? What do they reveal about your personality? Include your explanation of your painting on the back of your work.

On the back of your work, write a 100-200w explanation of why you have chosen the colours and symbols that are part of your representation.

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Yr 11 Creative Writing Assessment

Here is the assessment notification: 2014_Yr11_Short Story_assessment1 (2)

Editing PowerPoint: Editing Creative writing



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How to write a feature article: Year 10

Creating your page of notes for the assessment:

Click here to download a checklist for your work.

Click here for a general overview of:

        • Feature Articles
        • Letter to the Editor

1. Guides to writing feature articles

2. Examples of feature articles

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How to write a Feature Article

Feature Articles

Creating your page of notes for the assessment:

  • here is a model you can examine
  • here is a template you can download and type into
  • you are welcome to design your own page of notes.


Click here for a general overview of:

        • Feature Articles
        • Letter to the Editor

1.  From a text book

In ‘On Target’ text book (class set in rm 13), attempt the ‘how to write’ activites plus worked examples on p115-117)

2. Guides to writing feature articles

3. Examples of feature articles


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The Odyssey: collaborative notes

When you’re writing your notes to share with your classmates, please use this document: Odyssey notes template

Here are the summaries:

Telemachus’ quest to find news of his father

Book 1   VR

Book 2   VR

Book 3   VR

Book 4   VR

Odysseus leaves Calypso and gets to the Pheacians

Books 5-8

Odysseus tells the Pheacians of his travels since he left Troy

Book 9 RS NA EB AP  not yet submitted: LY NI

Book 10 SL AW TY CB and Book 10 CM OK MT … MZ, CL, BE, SE?

Book 11 LvdS CC

Book 12 EL EB MT  Book 12 GN HD MS AR SA

Odysseus arrives back in Ithaca and puts together a plan with Eumaus and Telemachus

Books 13-16

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The Man of Twists and Turns: The Odyssey

Learning Intention: to understand the ideas, characters and language features of The Odyssey.

Success Criteria:  The Odyssey SOLO Matrix


All students should read books 9-12 by Wed 26 Feb and books 17-24 by Wed 5 March

Most students may also like to also read books 5-8 and books 13-16

Some students might like to read the whole thing! books 1-24 … and The Illiad!


If you would like to read the text online, go to enotes.


Click here for a fantastic map of Odysseus’ journey

For a head start on understanding the plot, try these three clips:

Books 1-4

YouTube Preview Image

Books 5-12

YouTube Preview Image

Books 13-24

YouTube Preview Image




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Short Stories: Characterisation


by John Cheever

The Fly

by Katherine Mansfield

  • Click here to read the story
  • Click here to listen to an audio recording from Libravox
  • In groups of 4-5, nominate who will take on these rolls:
        • A: summariser (of the article)
        • B: quote finder (from the article)
        • C: manager
        • D: ppt scribe
        • E: presenter (may also be one of the other roles)
  • Click on one of the links below, as directed by your teacher:
  • TASK: create a 5-slide ppt presentation to share with the class, outlining the following:

a) your names and the name of the article

b) connecting ideas

c) extending ideas

d) challenging ideas for you, as developing writers

e) rating of how useful this article is to you

Submit this via edmodo on Friday 21 February. Present to the class from Monday 24 Feb onwards.

Looking for more challenge?

Here are some stories to extend your understanding of characterisation:
Feel free to read one or more of these stories for pleasure or to make notes under the headings below and submit your answers as a podcast (using an MP3 audiofile) to your teacher:
  • What kind of person is the protagonist (or another character you’re interested in)?
  • How is language used to create this unique, fleshed-out character?
  • To what extent is dramatic irony used in this story? (NB: comment on narrative perspective and how much we know that the character does not)
  • To what extent is this character likeable?  Why or why not?
  • What links can you make between this kind of character or characterisation process and another text?
  • If you could give this story a new title, what would if be and why?
  • In what ways does this story inspire you to think differently about your own creative writing?

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Yr 12 Adv Module A

In 2013, Ms Rintoul created the following post with many useful links to Blade Runner and Frankenstein.

Over the next few days we will be updating the post and uploading the assessment task.

I hope that you all get a chance to explore these resources.

Tasks which will pull the whole module together:

Past HSC Questions on this Module

What are HSC markers looking for in a Module A response?  How can you set your sites on success when writing about this module?

Read the questions, marking guidelines and markers comments below and make notes:

  • see: What do you now see that the markers are looking for in a strong response?
  • think: What thoughts do you now have about how you could sharpen your approach? What gaps would you like to fill in your skills and knowledge so far?
  • wonder: What questions does this raise for you about how you can prepare for success in this module?  What resources and assistance would you like from your teacher and your peers?




  • exam paper (see p4)
  • marking guidelines (see p3)
  • notes from the marking centre (see Module A, Comparative study of texts and contexts, Question 2)
  • download and annotate this Word document: BOS sample response 2010 HSC:
        • use colour to analyse this response:
              • blue: relevance to question
              • green: comparison
              • grey: integration of contextual information
              • pink: evidence and analysis
              • yellow: naming and evaluating the values under discussion
        • below the essay, create a glossary of vocabulary you need to look up and learn.  Find definitions of these words and begin using them regularly in your work.


Resources for Mary Shelley and her Romantic context

Resources for Ridley Scott and his Postmodern context

Click for the PowerPoint which guides you through selecting passages which will help you with Finding Values in Frankenstein and Blade Runner.

Posted in ADVANCED ENGLISH | 1 Comment