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In the words of Jane Austen, “it is a truth universally acknowledged that reading is really, really cool”, and our NIS literature students certainly seem to agree!

Up in Grades 11 and 12, students have been studying Parts 1 and 2 of the very rigorous IB English A course,

which focuses on topics like the cultural context of a text and how that affects its structure and message, how audience and purpose affect a text’s structure, the impact of technology on language changes, and different forms of communication within the media. As we have just witnessed one of the craziest US election cycles in history, many of the texts we studies were tied into this, for example the political speeches of candidates, news and media commentary, social media commentary in the Twittersphere, and even satire.

The assessment for Parts 1 and 2 is a written essay analyzing two random texts, and several oral presentations. After several weeks of pretty hardcore pen-to-paper essay writing, the students have had a bit of time to relax and have some fun preparing their Oral Activities for IB Assessment. This is very much a student-led activity which allows them, in small groups, to independently prepare and record an oral activity that will demonstrate mastery of the IB’s learning criteria they have selected. Students have the ability to decide on their process and presentation method, which means they basically have full ownership for their learning in this task. Here are some pics of the IB kids getting their oral activities ready for marking:

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Down in Middle School, Grade 8 kids have been reading the creepy stories of famous American Gothic writer, Edgar Alan Poe, such as The

Black Cat, the Cask of Amontillado, and The Fall of the House of Usher. Students have been learning about plot elements that make up any story, as well as analyzing the deeper themes that pervade all of Poe’s fiction. As a teacher, I like to unleash my students’ creativity in class, so many of the projects students complete to demonstrate their mastery of the content are things like completing Dioramas and class posters and writing sequels. Meanwhile, down in Grade 7, students have been reading the short stories of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, such as Mowgli’s Brothers, Kaa’s Hunting and Rikki Tikki Tavi. They have been looking at plot elements, conflict in literature, and the theme of Good vs Evil. Here are some pics of student work:

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