Category Archives: English 9&10

More Quotes from English 9 + 10

“A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks and suffers the consequences.” Proverbs 27:12

“You can’t always control circumstances, but you can control your own thoughts.”Charles Popplestone

“Love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself.” The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman

“A hungry ego is a mean ego. To make a happy ego you need to feed it with respect. People without respect have a mean ego.”  How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People, Les Giblin

“Gentle words cause life and health; griping brings discouragement.” Proverb 15.4

What are some of yours?



Non-Fiction Book Study Grade 9 + 10 – Quotes

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the Grade 9 + 10 English class are reading a non-fiction book (or two). There has been some great sharing, as well as a little jockeying to find the right book, which is part of this learning experience.

The students are exploring various ways to internalize some of the ideas and concepts from the books we are reading. So in the past week we have started a quote wall, where students can share some of the best quotes from their books.

Here are a few:

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein

“Without conflict there is no growth, and the most challenging conflict is within ourselves.” Brio in the Ant and the Elephan

t”The law of nature is: Do the thing, and you shall have the ^power; but they who do not the thing have not the power.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Repeat anything often enough and it will start to become you.” Tom Hopkins

“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their lifeis bound in shallows and in miseries.” William Shakespeare

“Small actions compound over time. That means they grow in size and impact and lead to much bigger things.” Success for Teens

Student Assignment – Books as a Tool

Grade 9 + 10 English          Non-Fiction Book Study

Description: Students are often asked to complete assignments for school – to demonstrate competency in various areas of the curriculum. This assignment  is for the student – to learn new concepts and to internalize principles that can be applied throughout their lives (it will also meet many of the learning outcomes of the curriculum).

Students will choose a non-fiction book from a selection provided. These books will cover a wide variety of areas from relationships, to thinking, to finances and many others. Students are encouraged to choose a book from the area that most interests them, that they want to learn about, and is written in a way that they can relate to. The book will become the student’s property, part of their personal library, to serve as a future reference guide.

Purpose: To study a non-fiction book that can serve as a reference tool throughout life.

Evaluation: For our purposes, the student must demonstrate that a real effort to learn and apply the principles has taken place. This can be done in a number of different ways, but it is the responsibility of the student. There will be a rubric provided.

The true evaluation for this assignment will come from the student, their desire to learn, the time they invest in the book.

 Timeline: Assignment starts immediately. It is suggested that book be picked by Friday, May 13. If you need a book that needs to be ordered it will take a few days.

Daily check-in, entry slips which the student will indicate what they did to move their learning forward. (for the student’s own accountability).

Weekly check-in in small groups will take place. This will be a time to share what we are doing, ideas that are being learned, how we are applying the principles. Groups will be changed so that everyone can hear about different books and different ideas.

Friday, June 7th is the targeted deadline date. (Could be a lifelong project.)

To come: Discussions: On ideas for how you might demonstrate your learning, Evaluation Rubric, Entry Slips, Group discussions, Q&A


*If you read 15-20 minutes a day, you can easily read 1 book a month – that is 12 books a year – that is 120 books in 10 years – close 10 a 1000 books in an average lifetime!

Student Blog – Bedivere Post

Don’t count your Chickens before they hatch!!

                  Don’t get your hopes up for something that could change so easily. Because it leaves you with a lot of emotions and you’re all angry because you worked so hard for it, then all of a sudden something comes up and interferes with what you wanted. Whether it’s a dream or just going somewhere. Life is a jackass and most of the time it will do anything to ruin your plans. Life hates you. But just because it hates you doesn’t mean you should give up. I’m not saying stop hoping, stop wishing, stop praying or stop working hard to get there. If anything wish a whole lot more, pray a whole lot more and hope a whole lot more, and defiantly don’t stop working. Just know that you shouldn’t get too attached, so that way if life wants to be a jackass and ruin your plan, you won’t feel too bad. I want you to always know that anything can happen whether it’s bad or good, anything can happen. But you just have to get up and work for it again. Hopefully not as much as you did the first time, but just enough to make it happen.

Hi… I have dealt with this problem too many times to count. And yes it’s a pain in the ass when my plans don’t work out. But I don’t care anymore because I know life will be a jackass and most likely ruin it for me. But when life is a Jackass to me, I get back up and start working. Yes I may be mad and frustrated most of the time, but I still do it. Because I have a big imagination and I have big dreams and hard plans to complete. When I have something I want to do or somewhere I want to go. I work so hard to get there. I always get my hopes up, unfortunately too high up, and I get excited. But I still know that life can still be a jackass and ruin it. And if it does, well life can go to hell. Like the last weekend of spring break I’m supposed to go see a friend who lives 1 hour and 30 minutes away from me. I have to work all spring break to raise the money for gas. But I have been screwed so many times by life that I’m actually scared I won’t be able to. And still i work and hope anyway. Why? Because every time you do hope for something and it fails. And you restart. You get farther every time.

In the book Of Mice and Men, George and Lennie have a dream about having their own ranch. They had their hopes up so high especially after Candy offered to help them buy it and complete their dream it was unbelievable. They were so convinced that they could make it. But life had to be a jackass and ruin it for them. It’s not Lennie’s fault, its life’s fault. Only Lennie can say that it was his fault.

So keep believing, keep hoping and work hard. If you fail, get back up and do it again. And remember Life is a JACKASS!!!!


Student Blog – Merlin’s Post

Stay Strong!

Loneliness. It affects everyone, both directly and indirectly. Loneliness in terms of missing someone, feeling cut off from everyone or just plain being alone. Loneliness is not a huge theme in ‘Of Mice And Men’, but it is a theme that needs attention. We all suffer from it, some of us more than others. Sometimes, it depends on race or religion, other times, prejudices and cruelty.  Leaving someone out, because they`re black, like Crooks. Not talking to someone much, because they’re old and dubbed senile, like Candy. Excommunicating someone because of a difference in religion or beliefs. All of this leads to the person in question being left with a feeling: loneliness. In a way, being alone can make the sentiment become your best friend. Like in my case.

From a very young age, I was outcast for my differences. I was overweight, and dubbed ‘too smart to have friends’. So no one played with me on the playground. No one wanted to come to my house, and no one invited me to theirs. I never went to any birthday parties, and few people came to mine. I only had one good friend, Jeremy. We met in kindergarten, and have been nearly inseparable since. His consistent friendship made up for the lack of people in my life. But when I moved from my home in Saskatchewan to British Columbia, all of that changed.

I lost touch with Jeremy. It crushed me. I still remember crying and staring out the window at him as we drove away. I was only 8 then. Once we moved, I became so depressed, that I cut myself off from the world. I refused friendships. I didn’t go outside unless I had to go to school. I sank myself into my schoolwork and ignored the rest of the world. I found Jeremy on Facebook when I was 11, but by then, the damage had already been done.

By the time I was 13, I was cutting myself. I cut to release the emotional pain within through a slit in my wrist. When the blood oozed, all the feelings of sadness and depression seeped out along with it. It made me feel better. I dyed my hair black and wore black clothing to show the world my pain. I felt that if my pain was shown on the outside of me, it would stop eating at me inside. I was wrong. It only got worse.

I felt like this quote from ‘Of Mice And Men’: “I ain’t got no people. I seen the guys that go around on the ranches alone. That ain’t no good. They don’t have no fun. After a long time they get mean. They get wantin’ to fight all the time. . .’’

Nowadays, I have more friends. I have more communication with the outside world. People and music helped drag me out of the pit that is loneliness. So, in conclusion, people suffer from loneliness, but it’s also people that help us through it.


This song helps me through my times of loneliness (really listen to the lyrics)

The caption is ‘Loneliness. If you find yourself struggling with loneliness, you’re not alone. And yet you are alone. So very alone.’ loneliness After listening to the song, I feel like this: loneliness2


Student Blog – Kay’s Post

To Dream

To dream is one of the major themes in this novel. I chose this theme because it can relate to people today in so many ways as it did in the Great Depression. I’m not talking about the kind of dream that you have when you’re sleeping, but the kind of dream that people hope to achieve one day. Every person has a dream. It could be as small as hoping to get married or have a home or as big as becoming a famous singer. Lennie and George had a dream to own a farm that they could “live off the fata the land”. Lennie especially wanted to tend rabbits. This dream was more of a big one for them, but as things started to get better their dream looked more realistic to them. Because this was during the Great Depression, many people needed a dream to keep on going.

To dream is when one has hope to create or become something that they think is possible or impossible. There are two types of dreams. Those that people think they can achieve and those they don’t. For those who believe the dream is possible, it becomes part of their belief system. George didn’t believe in their dream the same way Lennie did. George at first thought their dream was impossible, but Lennie saw it differently. His mental disability allowed him to believe in the dream without seeing all the obstacles. His world view was similar to childlike faith. Lennie kept George optimistic about the dream. When Candy joined in on wanting to be part of their dream, he helped remove some of the obstacle to money. But in time, Lennie got into trouble, which prevented the dream from coming true. George Said “I think I Knowed we’d never do her. He usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would”. Unfortunate circumstances affect people’s dreams. People can achieve dreams if they try. Trying is the key to achieving, as well as bringing about the right circumstances. Dreams come true with effort and making good decisions!

Dreams are an important aspect in life because they keep you looking forward and help us to become or achieve more. They can come true or stay as a dream that motivates or comforts us. This theme is represented very well in the book Of Mice and Men. Lennie and George had a dream of their own. Just like many others. Never forget to Dream! 🙂

“What theme is important in your life?”

Our Grade 9 + 10 English class has been exploring the themes of the novel, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. We have worked in small groups to develop a better understanding of the novel, the characters, and the themes (See the previous post for evidence).In next week’s assignment, they are being asked to write a blog post in which they consider the implication of one of those themes in their lives today. (The posts will appear here).

There are many themes in this 1930’s novel: Discrimination of race, of gender, of people with disabilities, of the elderly; people who have few choices and little hope (bondage of the body, mind, or spirit); bullying, what is it like to be bullied, what causes a bully, euthanasia and assisted suicide; jealousy in a marriage; the need for relationships with others and the difficulty of those relationships; life in the Great Depression, a life of scarcity which seems to evoke loneliness and fear of others (currently youth unemployment in Canada is around 15% and globally it is often described with words like “crisis’); there is also compassion; and the “dream” which often encourages one to reach beyond the current circumstances and to strive for a better world, a world of purpose and meaning, and more.

One student asked an excellent question – very powerful asking good questions – she asked: “What theme is important in your life?” Imagine asking the teacher to actually do the assignment, or at least consider the question.

So here is my answer.

“Leadership is communicating people’s worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.” Stephen R. Covey .

This quote is included as part of the introduction of this blog. It is also on the wall in our downstairs family room, a perfect gift from a good friend. It reminds me, every time I look at it, of my purpose and what I need to focus on.

While discussing the book, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, we spoke of the implications of being in ‘bondage‘. There are characters who are physically limited in where they can go and what they can do – such as Crooks and Curley’s Wife. However, the tragedy of the book lies in the bondage of the minds and spirits of the characters. The circumstances of that era, the Great Depression, the attitude towards blacks, women, the elderly, the handicapped, the view of life is made real in the minds of the people. They believe in it. The hopelessness is repeated verbally a number of times in the novel, and summed up near the end by George: “I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we’d never do her. He usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would.” This is what is being repeated in the minds of the characters over and over – there is no way out!

Freedom, true freedom, is in the heart and mind of a person. It is in their belief system. What is it they really believe about themselves at the very core of their being? The voices in each one of our heads are simply echoes of what we believe – most of it untrue.

How do you change the voices? How do you change the belief system? No one can change someone else’s belief system. But, awareness can be created. Seeds can be planted. If a nurturing encouraging environment can be created where the individual feels safe to be creative, to find their voice, to try new things, and mostly, feel safe to fail and try again – then, maybe, change begins. It is not an easy road. Confidence, self-esteem, and belief is won through continuous effort and arriving at the point of ‘knowing’ that I can, because I have done it!

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

In the novel, in a world of scarcity and fear, the end of the novel could never be a happy one. Each one of us helps to create the world we live in. If we uplift and encourage others, praise effort, and look for the best in each other, we will begin to see a world that amazes us. Be the change!