Wednesday, 22 February 2017

To Kill A Mockingbird: Chapters 6-10 Summary

 Chapter 6

On Dill's last evening in Maycomb, the group begins the evening at Miss Rachel's pond. Dill and Jem decide to make one last attempt to see Boo. Scout reluctantly agrees to go with them.

The trio sneaks to the house in the dark. As they move to the window, someone is out in the yard. He walks close to them, and after he passes, the children run for the gate near the schoolyard. A gunshot goes off as they try to escape. Jem's pants are caught on the fence and he has to remove them to go free.

When the children return to the street, they see a large crowd gathered in front of the Radley house. Nathan Radley tells the crowd that some nigger was in his collard patch and that he fired the gun to scare off the intruder. As the crowd talks, Atticus notices that Jem has no pants on. Dill comes up with a quick story that he won them from Jem in a poker game. After evading Atticus, Jem decides to return and get his pants.

Chapter 7

School begins and Scout enters the second grade. Jem finally admits to Scout what happened the night he went back for his pants. He found them folded neatly on the fence and someone had done a poor job trying to repair the tear.

On another walk, home they find a grey ball of twine in the tree on the Radley lot. Later, the find two carved soap figures; one of a girl and one of a boy. Another time they find gum and a pocket watch. Scout and Jem decide to leave a thank you note in the tree for whoever is leaving them the gifts. The next day the hole in the tree has been filled with cement. Jem asks Nathan Radley why cement was poured in the tree, and he explains that the tree is ill and needed it.

Chapter 8

Maycomb sees it's first winter in years and it startles Scout, who has never seen a snowfall. She and Jem decide to take the opportunity to make a snowman and enjoy what little snow is on the ground.

That evening Scout is woken by Atticus to find that Maudie Atkinson's house is burning. The town gathers to help move out furniture and personal belongings. The house finally collapses and the firefighters rush to make sure that no other houses at threatened by the flames. Jem and Scout watch in awe and fear, so taken with the scene that they do not realize that someone has places a blanket around Scout. Atticus tells Scout that it was Boo Radley who placed the blanket around her. Jem is overtaken with all that has happened and tells Atticus all that has happened with the Radleys.

Jem and Scout go to see Maudie the next morning. They are shocked with her positive attitude about the fire. Maudie sees the fire as a chance to start over and move on.

Chapter 9

Scout gets in a fight at school with a boy who says that her father defends niggers. Scout tells Atticus about the fight and asks him what they boy meant. Atticus explains that he is defending Tom Robinson, a black man, and many in the town believe that he should not have taken the case. When someone at school makes a similar comment, Scout heeds her father's advice about fighting, and backs down.

Christmas arrives, and so does Atticus' brother Jack. On Christmas day Jem and Scout receive air rifles as gifts. After opening presents, everyone goes to Finch's Landing to spend the rest of the day. Scout has to deal with her bratty cousin Francis for most of the day. After dinner Francis calls tells Scout that her father is a nigger lover. Although Scout has been good about fighting, Scout attacks him and demands he take it back. This brings the day to an abrupt end. Scout receives a spanking from her Uncle Jack. She explains to Jack why she started a fight with Francis, and he becomes more understanding.

That evening, Atticus talks to Jack about the case and all of the problems that may arise because of it.

Chapter 10

Atticus sets some rules with Jem about the use of his new gun. He doesn't wanting him shooting at birds, but he is sure that Jem will. He explicitly tells him never to shoot a mockingbird, since they are the most innocent of the birds.

That afternoon a mad dog wanders down the street. Calpurnia rushes the children inside and calls Atticus to tell him. Atticus arrives with the town sheriff, Heck Tate. Heck aims for the dog, but realizes that he might miss. He tells Atticus that he should take the shot, to the surprise of the children. Atticus kills the dog instantly. The event greatly affects Jem and he warns Scout not to mention this at school. Scout is confused but Jem tells her that if Atticus wanted them to know what a good shot he was, he would have told them.

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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Collins Caribbean Student's Dictionary Review and Giveaway

Recently, I came across a copy of the Collins Caribbean Student's Dictionary and at first I thought that it was just like any other dictionary that I have owned. Boy was I wrong with my initial assessment. 

This is not only a dictionary but also an English 101 and grammar text book all rolled into one. I say this because of the unique survival guide for students that is at the back of the dictionary.

From this unique survival guide, students are equipped with detailed information on the various types of writing (summary writing and report writing), exam tips, detailed definition and examples of the various punctuation marks and their usage, a spelling guide, homophones examples and definitions, sample cover letters, sample resumes, business letters and memoranda. I must say it is a survival guide indeed. 

What I like must is that the topics that are covered in the survival guide are topics that are in line with the new CSEC English A syllabus (summary writing, report writing, presentation tips, exam tips). Almost all the topics from the paper 2 exam are covered in this guide. 

This dictionary is truly all the information you need at your fingertips. It is also a great tool for not only high school students but students entering sixth form, university or even a reference tool to have around the house.

The price point makes it more than worth purchasing.  If you don’t believe you can watch the video below for a detailed look at the dictionary.


You can enter below by leaving a comment and signing in below to register your entry. If you do not sign up below you will not be entered to win. 

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Saturday, 18 February 2017

How to Use WhatsApp as an Educational Tool

WhatsApp can be an invaluable teaching tool in the teaching learning process.  You can create WhatsApp groups for each of the classes that you teach. By doing so, students can have a reservoir of additional content in a variety of ways that appeal to them (audio, video, pictures and mimes).Monitoring of a WhatsApp group is far easier than you think,. You can ask a member of the class to create the group and add you as one of the admins. Informed students that any posting of inappropriate content in the group will result in immediate removal from the group. Just by setting a few group rules, you will realize that students will follow the guidelines.  Here are a few tips on how to use WhatsApp as an educational tool.

Sharing Additional Information

WhatsApp is perfect for sharing videos, url links, pictures, messages  and other information. In your class groups you can use the app to share the class content in the same way. You can take pictures of class notes, video class presentations, share blog links (CSEC English Made Easy), audio versions of the books and poems, movies based on books and online novels with your students.

Students can also be encouraged to share information that they have found on various lesson topics. This will also help to develop student's research skills. Remember you do not have to be the only person who is constantly in charge of disseminating the information. Based on your school's policy, you can appoint a member of the class or a group of students to be the tech consultants in the class. They can be the ones to take the pictures and videos as well as posting them to the class group.

Assisting Students Who are Absent

Often teachers have the policy that once a student is absent they must get the notes and complete the assigned tasks. Nine out of ten times this is not done. Plus, students often have a number of reasons and excuses why the work is not done.

Now, students who are absent can be aware of what happened in class through the information that is posted in the WhatsApp group. You can remind these students that after class the notes and class work will be posted and therefore assignment must be turned in at the next class.

Posting Reminders 

Whatsapp is also great for posting reminders to the class about tests, quizzes, workshops, change of class locations, etc. Additionally, it is great for reminding students what they need to take to class or the deadline for a piece of assignment. I find that posting reminders in the WhatsApp is more efficient than having to go to the class to remind them in person.

Hosting Study Sessions

You can also host study sessions once a month on an agreed date and time. Students can submit their questions and the teacher can assist them by answering frequently asked questions. This can be recorded and sent via voice notes. 

You can also post questions based on the various lesson topics that students can post their answers to. The student who gets the the answer correct can get his/her answer replied to with stars and any other preferred emoji.

The idea is that Whatsapp facilitates out of class discussion and instant communication between you and your students. Therefore, the sky is the limit in how you choose to use this app.

Please comment below and let me know if you use this app as an educational tool in your class or offer any other ways in which this app can be used as an educational tool.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Questions based on God's Grandeur

1. Using your own words, express in about two to three lines the theme of the poem.

2. State the central contrast which this poem presents between God and man.
Explain it fully with reference to specific details.

3. Select one metaphor used in the poem and show how it is expanded.

4. Identify the lines in which the poet expresses:
(a) disgust 
(b) hope

5. Explain in your own words the meaning of the following lines:
(a) Why do men now not reck his rod?
(b) And for all this, nature is never spent.

6. The poet uses the following devices. Select one example of each and comment
on its effect:-
(a) Simile 
(b) Alliteration 
(c) Compression 
(d) Repetition

7. State the effectiveness of using any ONE of the above devices.

Monday, 6 February 2017

To Kill A Mockingbird Chapters 1-5 Summary

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Chapter 1

The narrator of the book is Scout Finch, the youngest child of Atticus Finch. Scout begins by telling us of her brother's injured arm and of her family history. The earliest ancestor is Simon Finch, a fur trader who established Finch's Landing outside of Maycomb, Alabama. Scout's father is a lawyer and her mother passed away when she was two. She has an older brother named Jem. It is the summer and their neighbour's nephew Dill has come to stay for the summer. They spend the summer playing together and speculating about the Radley house. The most suspicious resident of the Radley place is Boo, who neighbours believe stalks the neighbourhood at night. Dill challenges Jem to touch the Radley house, and after a couple of days of pressure, Jem gives in.

Chapter 2

In the fall, Dill goes back to his home in Meridian and Scout is about to begin her first year of school. Scout seems to start out on the wrong foot with her teacher, Miss Fisher. Miss Fisher is bothered that Scout reads so well. Scout explains that she has inadvertently learned from her father, and Miss Fisher requests that Scout's father teach her no more. She believes that children should learn by the school's teaching methods. Scout has also learned writing from their African-American cook, Calpurnia.

Soon after this exchange, Miss Fisher finds that Walter Cunningham has no lunch. She tries to give him money, but he will not accept. Scout tries to explain that the Cunningham's take no charity they cannot return. Scout learned this when her father took a case for the Cunningham's and they had to pay in crops, refusing to accept Atticus' generosity. Scout cannot make this concept clear and gets in more trouble with Miss Fisher.

Chapter 3

Scout starts a fight with Walter at lunch since she blames him for getting in trouble with their teacher. Jem stops the fight and invited Walter back to their house for lunch. When at home Scout criticizes Walter for the way he eats his food, and Calpurnia scolds her for her behaviour. Back at school, Miss Caroline reacts badly to the "cooties" in a student's hair. The student is Burris Ewell, who is from an extremely poor family. She sends him home, but the class explains that Ewell children only come to the first day of school anyway. When Burris leaves, he shouts obscenities at Miss Fisher, causing her to cry. The class tries to placate her.

Chapter 4

While walking home Scout finds two pieces of gum in the tree on the edge of the Radley lot. Later, she and Jem find two pennies in the same tree. The children have no idea who is leaving the items in the tree.

School gets out for the summer and that means the arrival of Dill. The children start coming up with games to keep them occupied. During a game, Scout is rolled onto the Radley while in a tire. This gives Jem the idea for them to pretend to be the Radley family. Atticus finds them playing in the yard and suspects that their game is at the expense of their neighbors and tells the trio to stop. Scout tells Jem that they should listen to Atticus and do what he says, but Jem thinks they can keep plying without getting in any further trouble. Scout, though, is afraid. She believes that the afternoon she rolled into the Radley yard, she could here someone inside of the house laughing at them

Chapter 5

Scout begins to spend more time with Maudie Atkinson, their next door neighbor. She asks Miss Atkinson about Boo Radley. Miss Atkinson explains that the Radleys are very strict Baptists and they stay reclusive for religious reasons.

Meanwhile, Dill and Jem hatch a plan to give a note to Boo Radley. Dill and Scout are instructed to stand watch while Jem tries to slip the note into the house. Dill sounds the alarm that Atticus is coming down the street. The group is caught and Jem admits that they were trying to give a note to Boo. Atticus tells them to quit harassing the Radleys.

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