Tag Archives: Friday Five

Friday Five: Favourite texts to teach

Long time no post (as always)…

My year 8 class is currently studying a book that I studied when I was their age, and we are all loving it so much that I started thinking about the other texts that I enjoy teaching, and that I have (in my short career) used with a range of year groups and schools.

  1. Tomorrow, When The War Began
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    My year 8 class is in the middle of a comparative essay assessment for this text. We read the book, watched the TV show and the film over the last five weeks (plus school holidays). TWTWB is a novel that I really got into when I was in high school, and it is a book (and series) that is so unique in its plot, writing, characters, themes and issues. That idea of “what would you do if your country was invaded” is something that should seem inaccessible to teenagers today. But the way that John Marsden tells the story of Ellie and her friends is so compelling and vivid, so emotional and raw and above all else real, that I think it uniquely appeals to teenagers. The group of characters all have their flaws and are so different that I think everyone can identify with at least some part of a character. I used to live near a local airport, and whenever I read book one and then heard the planes flying at night, i would freak myself out so badly!
    This is also a series that I can never put down; once I read the first book I often read the other six within the week, and the same happened when I was teaching the book this term – I spent the first week of my holidays engrossed in guerrilla warfare and teenage terrorists.
  2. The Princess Bride
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    My year 8s looked at this movie at the start of the year, looking at characterisation, genre and film conventions. I adore this movie, and (selfishly) as a teacher I don’t like to teach texts that I don’t know or like. So when the opportunity came up for my year 7s last year to start looking at narrative conventions and characters, I had the idea to show them this movie. They loved it, after complaining at first that it was sure to be an old black and white movie, if it was made in the 80s.. I got them to do a character analysis on how one character in the story changed as a result of the events in the movie, some of them crafted some exquisite responses!
    I have also read the book, which quickly became one of my all time favourites as soon as I started reading it.
  3. The Outsiders
    2626920066_091dc0a914_zI first read The Outsiders when I was in year 10. I was amazed that such a seminal, rite-of-passage text that resonated with my male classmates was written by a girl no older than I was (at the time). Since then, I have used that text with my mostly male, disengaged classes. I have found that they identify with at least something in the novel, whether it is the loyalty and devotion of the three Curtis boys, the hero worship of Dallas Winston or the lonely bravado of Johnny. I think The Outsiders is a book that you could study on many levels; whether it is to introduce themes and issues as I did this year with a hard year 10 group, plot and conflict with my year 9s last year or parallel characters and debating with my year 9s in my first semester of teaching.
    The Outsiders was one of the first books that I remember reading in high school that I know have had lessons stay with me into adulthood. It was Ponyboy and Johnny that I turned to when facing my first novel study with my first “smart” class, and it is the lessons that they taught me that I try pass on to my students.
  4. Invictus

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    yes, i know this is the actual event, not a picture from the movie.

    This one is a bit more personal for me. I saw this movie with my brother and my dad at the movies, and I left crying and proud to be South African. As an English text though, I think that Invictus has a lot to offer. It explores issues of racism, class systems, sports, politics, history and civics. I first used it with a hard year 10 class last year, and they looked at it more as a film study, with issues and themes the main focus. My year 10 class this year was very similar. We had previously watched a documentary called Pacific Warriors (my class has a lot of rugby specialist program kids) looking at the issues of inequality and funding in sports. I think the kids get a lot from Invictus, from looking at a moment in history and events that seemed too unreal to be true, to being able to watch a good sports movie.
    I also like to teach it because it allows my students to get to know me a bit better. My family lived through a lot of the circumstances in the movie. My granny was a great hockey player who was not allowed to represent South Africa because of the colour of her skin, my mother was a great ice skater who was on her skating team as one of the “token” two coloured girls, and my grandpa would constantly talk about how great Madiba was. The movie is very real for me even though I have never really lived in South Africa, and I think lets my students see me as an actual “person” with a history and heritage that I am proud of. We also have a giggle at me being near tears at the end of the movie EVERY. SINGLE. TIME i watch it!

  5. Guardians of the Galaxy
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    This one less as a “study” text, more as an “end of term” text. I have shown this movie at the end of terms since it came out, and every single class i have shown it to (8,9,10,12s) have enjoyed it. I adore it, and i think it’s perfect in its quirkiness!

Hope your Friday is less chaotic than mine! Would love some suggestions for go-to English texts, my tendency to stick to the familiar can at times be limiting…

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Friday Five: Things I’m grateful for

SO I’m currently having a less than perfect day at school, and I thought it would  be good (for my sanity) to remember that there are things happening that are pretty damn awesome.

  1.  Persuading (really just telling, #teacher) my year 9 English class that my favourite movie “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” is a better option than watching “The Avengers” and then watching it with them this afternoon!
  2.  Finding the folder of photos with my little sister that I thought I lost.
  3.  Knowing I have two whole days off, and six days until holidays!
  4.  That there is a huge stack of books at home waiting for me to escape into them.
  5.  Cookie Lyon

    I was ultra close to this today….

Hope your Friday is going better than mine!

Love,

Andrea

Friday Five: Fictional Fanatic

Happy Friday everyone! Summer in Perth means there is sport a-plenty, and when it gets too hot to go outside while waiting for the next Australian Open match to start, I turn to my many fictional loves. This week I’ll spotlight five (or probably more) of my favourite fictional sporting teams/figures.

Dillon High Panthers

 

East Compton High Clovers/Rancho Carne High Toros

 

Average Joe’s/Globo Gym Purple Cobras

Tree Hill High Ravens

Mighty Ducks (couldn’t pick between animated
or Gordon Bombay, until this:) 
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Who do you love to support? How are you spending your weekend?

Love,
Andrea

Friday Five: Beauty Stuff

Despite having grown up in the world of modelling, I have never really been big on beauty and make up and all that regular girl stuff. I’ve very lucky to be blessed with hair that does anything I ask of it (and as an African girl, this is even more bizarre) as well as problem free skin and in-fashion eyebrows (I could be wrong, I have been told I have no fashion sense by two of my most trusted friends). So I have never really invested in expensive beauty treatments (not that beauty treatments need to be expensive) or invested a lot my time in my appearance. I realise this probably manifests itself in various issues I have, but besides my fitness I’ve always been fairly happy with the way I look.

Today I thought I would make a list of the beauty items I do ascribe to and that I think are must haves; for the woman who has plenty of time on her hands, but choses instead to watch Bob’s Burgers and read Hello Giggles in her pyjamas. Continue reading Friday Five: Beauty Stuff

Friday Five: Gilmore Boys Who Made It Big (Day 41)

I have been a Gilmore Girl from when it was first broadcast in Australia on Channel 9. I can remember sitting with my mum watching it, and being at some family party and sneaking into my cousin’s bedroom to watch the one where Rory turned 16. In all my years watching this delightful show, one thing always hits me: the incredible amount of dreamy young actors that the show produced. So in no particular order, and with the dates of their first GG appearance and of their post GG fame (and more than five, because I can!):

Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki, 2000-2005)Dean

Dean was Rory’s first everything pretty much. I personally am not the hugest fan of his but in rewatching season one episodes, he is just so adorable with his floppy hair and tall boy awkwardness. Dean eventually got married, had an affair with Rory then faded into Stars Hollow when the affair came out. Jared Padalecki then went on to become the brother of a Dean, as Sam Winchester (2005-present) in Supernatural.

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Tristan DuGrey (Chad Michael Murray, 2000-2001)chad1
Tristan was Dean’s Chilton rival, poor boy. I would always choose Tristan over Den, but then again I have a thing for the worst possible guys.
chad2Lucas Scott (One Tree Hill, 2003-2009, 2012)

Dave Rygalski (Adam Brody, 2002-2003)AdamDaveRygalskiadam2

Seth Cohen (The OC, 2003-2007)

Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia, 2001-2006)Jess-jess-mariano-23217484-494-700Peter Petrelli (Heroes, 2006-2010)

Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry, 2004-2007)logan1THE GOOD WIFE
Cary Agos (The Good Wife, 2009-present)

Zach Van Gerbig (Todd Lowe, 2002-2007)todd_zachTodd-LoweTerry Bellefluer (True Blood, 2008-2013)

Alex Lesman (Billy Burke, 2003)

Lorelai---Alex-gilmore-girls-139988_533_400In the course of my reading, I discovered that Alex is the one boyfriend that Lorelai did not technically break up with, on screen anyway.

billy1Charlie Swan (Twilight, 2008-2012) billy2and Miles  Matheson (Revolution, 2012-present)

Luke (Dean’s Friend) (Max Greenfield, 2003)max4Who was also Deputy Sheriff Leo D’Amato (Veronica Mars, 2005-2007, 2014)max2a Young Sandy Cohen (The OC, 2007) max3and Schmidt (New Girl, 2011-present) max1

Graham Sullivan (Teddy Dunn, 2004) 

702088_320Rory goes on a date with Graham at the end of season four, the date where she calls Dean to come rescue her and thus begins the affair.. Graham then goes on to a little town called Neptune, California where he becomes Duncan Kane, ill-fated boyfriend of Veronica Mars the same year he is on GG until his run on Veronica Mars ended in 2006.
duncan-kane-profileNot to mention Brandon Routh in a season one cameo before he was Superman, Jon Hamm in the season three episode where Lorelai asks her mother for a guy’s phone number, Sebastian Bach as Gil,  Scott Cohen as Max, Nick Offerman as creepy cousin Beau, and the delightful Daniel Pudi working at the Yale Daily News.

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The moral of this story? Gilmore Girls is amazing and all time, and society owes it a significant debt.  
Have a great weekend!
Love,
Andrea