Novel Study Inquiry in #ENG3U #ENG4C #ENG4U

We are already into week four of semester two! Most students are doing well, though a few are already starting to fall behind due to absences. It is vitally important that you meet with me or email me if you’re experiencing difficulty in class. I’m here to help!

I recently attended Reading For the Love Of It, a conference for language teachers that provides strategies, ideas, and resources to make learning more authentic, collaborative, and engaging. The problem with these conferences is the huge amount of information I bring back. It takes days to sort it all! Many of the sessions focused on inquiry learning, which basically means the students questions and observations become the heart of the lesson. This works well in English as we study novels this week. We have been focusing on critical literacy – the analysis of a text:

From “Adolescent Literacy Guide – A Professional Learning Resource for Literacy, Grades 7-12.” Ministry of Education, Ontario, 2012.

This week, we will continue focusing on these seven points to analyze novels. We will use an inquiry approach to help students get to the heart of the texts. This is way more rewarding than basic question-and-answer worksheets. Trust me.


ENG3U Grade 11 University English students are passing the exposition stage of Frankenstein and moving into the rising action as the plot and conflict between Victor and his creature develops. We will analyze character and conflict this week. If you’re a fan of Kenneth Oppel, check out his Frankenstein prequel series:

ENG4C Grade 12 College English continues their examination of Crow Lake. We will be discussing character traits over the next few days as we move towards the middle of the novel. Students will also practice using quotes to support ideas and referencing in both MLA and APA style. Note that following Chapter 12, there will be a quiz. This is likely going to happen on Thursday.

ENG4U Grade 12 University English students will work on critical literacy questions for The Great Gatsby, examining Nick’s role as the narrator. We will also talk about symbolism and setting, (such as the green light, West Egg vs. East Egg, the Valley of Ashes, giant billboards) and how they contribute to the novel’s themes.

Have a wonderful week!

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