Saturday, 31 December 2016

Mom Luby and the Social Worker by Kristin Hunter


Mom Luby

An elderly woman who is as strong as any young woman.
She has white hair and false teeth. 
She runs a speakeasy in the back room of her house.
She fosters two young children.
She is a midwife, herb doctor and ordained minister of the Gospel.
She's a very productive woman who helps the people in her community.
She is very proud.

Miss Rushmore

She works at the Department of Child Welfare, Bureau of Family Assistance.
She is very thorough in her investigation of Mom Luby.
She is awed by Mom Luby's productivity.

Elijah (narrator) & Puddin' - The two young children that Mom Luby fosters. 


The United States of America between 1920-1933, during the time of the Prohibition in the United States.

Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, production, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1919 to 1933. The dry movement was led by rural Protestants in both political parties and was coordinated by the Anti-Saloon League. 

Narrative Point of View is the way events in the story are seen through the eyes of the person who narrates the story.


Love and Family Relationship

The love that Mom Luby has for her two young charges is apparent by her simple act of fostering them. She is a poor, older woman who runs a speakeasy to survive. This is not the profile of someone who should be willing to take care of two young children, as well as a whole community, yet she does. The act of visiting the Social Security Office is a testament to her commitment to taking care of the two children. The great irony in this short story is that a poor, older lady, is able to take better care of two little children than the State agency that is assigned to do so. This is because she can get more accomplished in two hours, to benefit them, than the agency can accomplish in two years with their most motivated agent.


Satire: sat•ire  

The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of...a play, novel, film, or other work that uses satire.

Satire is a literary device that uses wit or irony to expose and ridicule a human weakness. The inefficiency of bureaucratic procedures is satirized in this story.

Irony usually signals a difference between the appearance of things and reality. For instance, an “Ironic statements (verbal irony) often convey a meaning exactly opposite from their literal meaning. In ironic situations (situational irony), actions often have an effect exactly opposite from what is intended.”


Saturday, 24 December 2016

CSEC English A & B SBA Facebook Page

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!! 

I hope you are having a great holiday. I know that most of us are overwhelmed with marking exam scripts as well as planning for the new school term. With this in mind, I have created a Facebook page that is centred around the CSEC English A and B SBA. There, you will find posts based on the SBA as well as additional resources. I hope to see you there. 

On another note, I would like to thank my colleagues who have personally shared with me that they have been using the blog as a resource site. Thank you!!! I look forward to seeing you on the Facebook page. Click Here


Friday, 9 December 2016

Examining the Types of English B Questions


Examine the similarities as well as differences to reach a general conclusion.

For example: 

Compare the ways in which the two parents in the poems “Ana” and “Little Boy Crying” demonstrate their love for the children.

Compare and Contrast

Examine the similarities as well as differences to reach a general conclusion.

It must be noted that the word “compare” used by itself takes into consideration both similarities and differences. However, the word contrast used by itself indicates that only the differences must be

For example: 

Discuss TWO ways in which Lady Macduff is contrasted with Lady Macbeth.


Examine how the writer uses different elements (for example, literary device, stage props) to create effect and meaning. The overall effect on the piece of work must also be provided. The effect must take into account the writers purpose, and other elements of the piece of work, for example, theme, structure, diction and tone.

For example: 

Comment on the shifts of mood in the scene in which Lady Macduff appears.


Provide a detailed account, including significant characteristics or traits of the issue in question.

For example: 

Describe Macbeth’s conflicting thoughts and feelings as he contemplates the murder.


Provide an extended answer exploring related concepts and issues using detailed examples but not necessarily drawing a conclusion.

For example: 

Discuss the importance of Katherina’s final speech in The Taming of the Shrew


Focus on what, how and why something occurred. State the reasons or justifications, interpretation of results and causes.

For example: 

Explain the dramatic significance of this scene.

Monday, 5 December 2016

A Video Overview of the Play: Julius Caesar


A Video Summary of the Play: The Tempest

Sunday, 4 December 2016

A Dramatisation of the Play: The Tempest

Above is a video presentation of the play, The Tempest

Features of a Shakespeare Comedy

What makes a Shakespeare comedy identifiable if the genre is not distinct from the Shakespeare tragedies and histories?

This is an ongoing area of debate, but many believe that the comedies share certain characteristics, as described below:

Comedy through language: Shakespeare communicated his comedy through language and his comedy plays are peppered with clever word play, metaphors and insults.
  • Act 1- scene 1 Shipwreck
  • Act 2- Conversation between Caliban and Prospero

Love: The theme of love is prevalent in every Shakespeare comedy. Often, we are presented with sets of lovers who, through the course of the play, overcome the obstacles in their relationship and unite.
Complex plots: The plot line of a Shakespeare comedy contains more twists and turns than his tragedies and histories. Although the plots are convoluted, they do follow similar patterns. For example, the climax of the play always occurs in the third act and the final scene has a celebratory feel when the lovers finally declare their love for each other.
Mistaken identities: The plot is often driven by mistaken identity. Sometimes this is an intentional part of a villain’s plot, as in Much Ado About Nothing when Don John tricks Claudio into believing that his fiancĂ© has been unfaithful through mistaken identity.

Characters also play scenes in disguise and it is not uncommon for female characters to disguise themselves as male characters.



Answer ONE question in this section.
You must state the title of any books you refer to in your answer.




5. “To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age novel in which Jem and Scout learn some important
lessons about life.”

Write an essay in which you describe TWO incidents that teach the children an important lesson.
In this essay, you must also discuss how ONE of the incidents affects the children, and examine
ONE narrative technique the writer uses to present important lessons about life.
                                                                                                                        Total 35 marks


BREATH, EYES, MEMORY—Edwidge Danticat

6. “Mother-daughter relationships are built on a web of traditional practices.”

Write an essay in which you describe ONE mother-daughter relationship in Breath, Eyes Memory.
In this essay you must also discuss how a traditional practice affects that relationship, and examine
how ONE technique is used by the writer to explore mother-daughter relationships.
                                                                                                                                 Total 35 marks

CSEC English B 2018-2023 Sample Questions - Section B

Answer ONE question in this section.

A WORLD OF POETRY FOR CSEC —Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmons-McDonald


3. “‘My Parents’ and ‘Little Boy Crying’ explore childhood experiences.”

Write an essay in which you describe the experience of EACH child. In this essay, you must also discuss how the child in EACH poem feels about the other persons involved in the experience, and examine ONE device that is used to present the child’s experience in EACH poem.

                                                                                             Total 35 marks

4. Choose TWO poems that you have studied from the prescribed list which focuses on an individual’s dreams OR desires.

Write an essay in which you outline EACH speaker’s dream OR desire. In this essay, you must discuss the speaker’s attitude to the obstacle that affects the achievement of the dream OR desire in EACH poem, and examine ONE device that is used to explore dreams OR desires in EACH poem.

                                                                                               Total 35 marks

Saturday, 3 December 2016

The Tempest Acts 4 & 5 Summary

Act IV.

Prospero tells Ferdinand that he no longer will punish him, but instead will freely give his daughter's hand in marriage to him. Prospero conjures up a beautiful, mythical, illusory party to celebrate, complete with goddesses and nymphs.

Prospero instructs Ariel to lead the shipwrecked men on the island before him. Remembering Stephano, Caliban and Trinculo, Prospero has Ariel distract them with clothes, Caliban failing to keep his friends focused on killing Prospero. Prospero promises Ariel that he will soon be free...

Act V.

Prospero brings everyone except Stephano, Caliban and Trinculo before him in a circle. Spellbound, he verbally reprimands several of the men who exiled him. Prospero tells Ariel that he will soon be free and that he will miss him. Prospero also intends to destroy his ability to use magic.

Making his presence known, Prospero forgives King Alonso, and tells Sebastian and Antonio he will keep secret their plan to kill Alonso, forgiving both.

The famously sweet scene of Ferdinand playing chess with Miranda occurs. King Alonso is overjoyed to see his son Ferdinand and soon learns of Ferdinand's imminent marriage to Miranda.
Prospero forgives Stephano and Trinculo. Caliban is embarrassed that he followed a fool (Trinculo). 

Caliban is given his freedom. Prospero announces that in the morning they will all set sail for Naples. Ariel is at last set free.

Characters in The Tempest




Prospero's Use of Power


Ariel's Role in the Play

Final Review

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Theme for English B by Langston Hughes


The persona's lecturer gave him an assignment to write a page that reflects 'him', or his character. The persona wonders if this is a simple task, and begins to think about his life. Things like his age, place of birth, race and place of residence. Based on these musings, he surmises that he is confused due to his youth. He guesses that he is what he feels, sees and hears, which is Harlem, New York. He continues his musing about what he likes, and concludes that he likes the same things that people of other races like. On this basis, he questions whether or not his page will be influenced by race. He concludes that it will not be white. He admits that his instructor, as well as the fact that this instructor is white, will have some influence on his page. He states that they both influence each other, that is what being American is about. He believes that both of them might not want to influence each other, but it cannot be helped. He concludes that both of them will learn from each other, despite the fact that the instructor has the advantage of being older, white and 'more free'. All of these musings and conclusions become his page for English B.


Stanza 2, line 6: The persona ponders the ease of what he is asked to do. This question, in turn, actually highlights the difficult nature of the task.

Stanza 3, line24: This question highlights the persona's confusion as to who he is, or his character. He is unsure.

Stanza 4, line 32: The persona is wondering whether his race will affect  what he writes on the page. This is despite the fact that he concludes that race does not hinder people, in general, liking the same things.

2. REPETITION This repetition emphasizes the profound impact that Harlem, New York, has had on the personality of the persona.


3.'here to this college on the hill above Harlem.'

The fact that the college is on a hill, above Harlem, is very important. It highlights the fact that the college is a superior entity. The people of Harlem look up at it, showing their inferiority.

4.'I am the only colored student in the class.'

This line emphasizes the persona's 'otherness' in relation to every-one else in the class. He is different. The isolation of the sentence (enclosed by full stops/periods) also emphasizes the persona's 'otherness'.

5.'The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem, through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas, Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y, the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator up to my room' 

This line highlights the fact that the college is a great distance from his home. This distance is also metaphorical because it is implied that the experiences that he has at the college are also a great distance from the experiences that he has in Harlem. They are two different worlds.

6.'But it will be a part of you, instructor. You are white - yet a part of me, as I am a part of you. That's American.' 

This statement reveals the fact that America is viewed as a melting pot by the persona. He believes that different races and cultures influence each other, thereby forming the term 'American'.

7.As I learn from you, I guess you learn from me - although you're older - and white - and somewhat more free. 

This statement, by the persona, repeats his belief that the American society is a melting pot. It also, however, states that not every-one is equal within this society.

* It is interesting to note that the persona's 'page for English B' becomes a journey of self discovery that actually does not end. He forms no conclusion as to who he is because his personality is still 'in process'

MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE The mood of the poem is reflective.

TONE  The tone of the poem is also reflective.                     

THEMES: Racism, places

It is the Constant Image of your Face -Dennis Brutus


The persona reflects on the image of some-one he cares for. This love interest accused him, with their eyes, of breaking their heart. The persona admits that both of them (he and the love interest) can make no excuses for his behaviour because the love interest does not take precedence over his land, or country. Despite this fact, the persona begs for mercy, pleading guilty for being seduced by his love interest's beauty. This person protects him dearly and he admits that, as a result of this, he has committed treason against his country. He hopes that his country, his other dearest love, will pardon him because he loves both his country and his love interest.



Lines 4, 6-7: The love interest's eyes constantly accuses and convicts the persona. This device highlights the extent to which the persona has hurt this person.

Lines 18-20: The persona hopes that his country, his other dearest love, will forgive him for the treasonous act of loving another. This highlights the patriotism that defines the persona's relationship to his country.


The term heart's-treachery implies that the heart, something so vital and indicative of love, has committed a terrible crime. It highlights the heartbreak that the persona has caused his love interest.


3. 'constant image'

This implies that the persona constantly, or always, remembers his love interest's face. It emphasizes the guilt he feels in relation to this person.

4. 'grave attention'

The love interest's eyes display grave attention. The word grave implies intensely serious, so this person is truly hurt.

5. 'world of knives'

A knife inflicts pain and destroys. The persona, therefore, is identifying his world with causing pain.

6. 'such blackmail with your beauty'

To blackmail someone is to have something over them that puts their will in your control. The love interest's beauty has captivated the persona in such a way that he betrays his country with this person.

The mood of the poem is reflective. The persona is thinking about his two loves and how he is torn between them.

TONE: The tone of the poem is sadness and guilt. The persona is guilt ridden over this love triangle and sadness permeates the words that he uses to describe it.

THEMATIC CATEGORY: Love, guilt, patriotism, places, desires/ dreams

English Version of the Play: The Tempest Acts 4 & 5

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Equivalent Sentences Explained

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The Basics of CSEC English Made Easy

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Tempest Act 3- English Version of the Play

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Links for the English Version of the Play: Julius Caesar

Links for the English Version of the Play: The Tempest

Sunday, 30 October 2016

How to Analyse Poems You have Never Seen Before

Saturday, 29 October 2016

My Parents by Stephen Spender

Stanza 1
The poet’s parents sought to protect him from the street children. They were rude in speech and were dressed in rags. They were uninhibited and stripped off their clothes and swam in the country rivers.

Stanza 2
The speaker feared the brute strength of the boys. They were muscular and did not hesitate to use their arms and legs. The poet was also scared of their mocking ways. They laughed behind his back, imitating his lisp.

Stanza 3
The boys were like vandals; they threw mud at people and pounced on them. But despite all this, the speaker was forgiving. He wanted to be friendly and smiled at them. But they did not reciprocate the friendly overtures.


This poem could be a personal or biographical depiction of Spender's early life suffering the disability of a club foot and a speech impediment.

The use of the first person, stark contrasts, and ambiguity give us a vivid picture of a child troubled by a superiority/inferiority complex.

While his parents are condescending towards the rough coarse children, the child appears envious of their carefree liberty, their unbridled animal prowess and uninhibited playfulness, yet resentful of their bullying behaviour to him.

We can visualise the persona through contrast.  He is everything that they are not; softly spoken (words like stones), well dressed (torn clothes, rags), passive (they ran and climbed), inhibited - modesty (they stripped by country streams), weak (muscles of iron), well mannered (salt coarse pointing) lisp (parodied by copying), clumsy (lithe), and friendly ( hostile- they never smiled).

His attempts at conciliation and acceptance are rebuffed but he appears to blame his parents for psychologically damaging him by over protection or shielding him from a natural childhood.  While their superior attitude (snobbery?) has excluded him from mainstream society he ambivalently identifies with his parents by having the boys spring “like dogs to bark at our world”.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

How to identify the Writer's Tone, Purpose and Intention

The Author's Tone:

If the author was speaking to you, what would it sound like?  Is the author passionate about the topic?  Sarcastic?  Neutral?  Is the author arousing emotions?  Does it evoke feelings of sympathy, anger, happiness or sadness?
Looking at the author's tone can lead the reader to the overall purpose.

The Author's Purpose

An author’s purpose is the reason an author decides to write about a specific topic. Then, once a topic is selected, the author must decide whether his purpose for writing is to inform, persuade, entertain, or explain his ideas to the reader.

To determine the author's purpose it is important to analyze the...

Language used - look at the words the author chooses to use.  Do they convey certain emotions?  Is it formal or informal?

Development - How has the author chosen to develop his or her thoughts?

The audience - Who is the author speaking to?  Is the vocabulary technical and specific? Is it targeted to a specific audience?  Is the language easy to read and understand?

The author's point of view - What is the author's attitude toward the subject?

Writer's Intention

The writer’s intention is the meaning or interpretation of the passage that the author had in mind when he or she was creating it. It also includes the meaning the writer is trying to convey.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Things Fall Apart -Analysis of Chapter 7

Chapter 7

With the killing of Ikemefuna, Achebe creates a devastating scene that evokes compassion for the young man and foreshadows the fall of Okonkwo, again in the tradition of the tragic hero. Along the way, the author sets up several scenes that juxtapose with the death scene:

The opening scene of the chapter shows the increasing affection and admiration Okonkwo feels for Ikemefuna, as well as for Nwoye.
On the journey with Ikemefuna and the other men of Umuofia, they hear the "peaceful dance from a distant clan."

In Chapter 2, the author comments that the fate of Ikemefuna is a "sad story" that is "still told in Umuofia unto this day." This observation suggests that the decision to kill Ikemefuna was not a customary one. Before dying, Ikemefuna thinks of Okonkwo as his "real father" and of what he wants to tell his mother, especially about Okonkwo. These elements combined suggest that the murder of Ikemefuna is senseless, even if the killing is in accordance with the Oracle and village decisions.

The murder scene is a turning point in the novel. Okonkwo participates in the ceremony for sacrificing the boy after being strongly discouraged, and he delivers the death blow because he is "afraid of being thought weak." At a deep, emotional level, Okonkwo kills a boy who "could hardly imagine that Okonkwo was not his real father" — someone whom Okonkwo truly loves as a son. Okonkwo has not only outwardly disregarded his people and their traditions, but he has also disregarded his inner feelings of love and protectiveness. This deep abyss between Okonkwo's divided selves accounts for the beginning of his decline.

For the first time in the novel, Okonkwo's son, Nwoye, emerges as a major character who, in contrast to his father, questions the long-standing customs of the clan. Achebe begins to show the boy's conflicting emotions; he is torn between being a fiercely masculine and physically strong person to please his father and allowing himself to cherish values and feelings that Okonkwo considers feminine and weak.

Resource Site:

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Tempest Analysis of Act 1, scene 2

Act 1, scene 2 Analysis

Prospero tells Miranda their history as a way to inform the audience of this important information. In addition, the audience needs to know what events motivate Prospero's decision to stir up the storm and why the men onboard the ship are his enemies — several share responsibility for Prospero's isolation. By sharing this information, Miranda — and the audience — can conclude that Prospero is justified in seeking retribution. At the very least, Prospero must make Miranda sympathetic to this choice. It is also important that Prospero gain the audience's sympathy because his early treatment of both Ariel and Caliban depict him in a less than sympathetic light.

Ariel and Caliban are both little more than slaves to Prospero's wishes, and, in the initial interactions between Prospero and Ariel and Prospero and Caliban, the audience may think Prospero to be callous and cruel. He has clearly promised Ariel freedom and then denied it, and he treats Caliban as little more than an animal. The audience needs to understand that cruel circumstance and the machinations of men have turned Prospero into a different man than he might otherwise have been. But Prospero's character is more complex than this scene reveals, and the relationship between these characters more intricate also.

During the course of the story, Prospero repeatedly asks Miranda if she is listening. This questioning may reveal her distraction as she worries about the well-being of the ship's passengers. Miranda is loving toward her father, but at the same time, she does not lose sight of the human lives he is placing at risk. However, his questioning is equally directed toward the audience. Prospero also wants to make sure that the audience is listening to his story, since he will return to the audience in the Epilogue and seek their judgment.

It is clear from Prospero's story that he had been a poor ruler, more interested in his books than in his responsibilities. Prospero, therefore, is not entirely blameless in the events that occurred in Milan. Antonio could not so easily seize power from an involved and attentive ruler. This information mitigates Antonio's actions in seizing his brother's place and is important because this play is not a tragedy. In order for the comedic or romantic ending to succeed, none of the villains can be beyond redemption or reconciliation. It is equally important that Prospero not be beyond redemption. Prospero must be heroic, and this he cannot be if he is perceived as vengeful. Ariel reassures the audience (as well as Prospero) that the ship and its crew have been saved and the passengers are safely on the island. No one has been hurt or lost at sea.

In addition to relating the past, this act also helps define the main characters and anticipate the future. Prospero has been injured, and he intends to serve justice on his captives. He delves in magic and has developed powers beyond those of his enemies. He is also intelligent enough and strong enough to control the spirits on the island; for example, he can control Caliban, who is not without power of his own. Prospero uses the magic of nature, a white, beneficent magic that does no harm. He does not use the black magic of evil. Prospero has learned of this magic, not through the use of witches or evil spells (as did the witches in Macbeth), but through his studies. Prospero's white magic has supplanted the black, evil magic of Caliban's mother, Sycorax, because Prospero, himself, is good.

Any initial concern that the audience might have because of Caliban's enslavement evaporates at the news that he attempted to rape Miranda. His subsequent behavior will further prove his character, but he can be redeemed, and his redemption is necessary if the play is to succeed. Furthermore, Caliban, who is initially bad and represents the black magic of his mother, serves as a contrast to the goodness of Ferdinand and Miranda. The young lovers are instantly attracted to one another, each one a mirror image of the other's goodness. It is their goodness that facilitates the reconciliation between Prospero and his enemies. In this reconciliation lies Ariel's freedom and Caliban's redemption.

Resource Site:

Summary of Chapter 6- Things Fall Apart

On the second day of the festival, everyone gathers at the village playing field to watch the wrestling contest between men of the village and men of a neighboring village. The first matches, between two teams of boys fifteen or sixteen years old, provide entertainment and excitement before the main events. One of the victorious boys is Maduka, the son of Okonkwo's good friend Obierika. Neighbors greet each other and tension builds until matches between the real wrestlers begin.

The current priestess of the Oracle, Chielo, talks casually with Ekwefi about Okonkwo's attack on her and about Ekwefi's daughter Ezinma, of whom Chielo seems particularly fond.

As the drums thunder, two teams of twelve men challenge each other. Many expect the final match between the two greatest fighters in the villages to be uneventful because of the similar styles of the two wrestlers. However, the spectators are thrilled when the local fighter, Okafo, takes advantage of one of his opponent's moves and suddenly defeats him. The crowd carries the victorious Okafo on their shoulders with pride.

Resource Site:

Sunday, 16 October 2016

A Breakdown of the CSEC English A SBA

A number of persons have reviewed the SBA outline that I have posted to this blog and they have also asked a number of questions based on the new CSEC English A SBA.

This post is my attempt to further breakdown/explain the CSEC English A SBA.

This information was gathered from a CSEC Webinar that was conducted in September. Click HERE to see the syllabus outline of the SBA.


Students will be in groups of 4 or 5.


  1. Students will assist each other by proof reading each others work
  2. Have group discussions and brainstorm ideas
  3. Assist each other in research
  4. Write the written report together

NB: Group work is not optional. It is a part of the process of the SBA.

Students and/ or teachers can create a number of themes (drug abuse, violence against women, natural disasters, etc ). Themes can also be created by students based on their interests.

Each group will select a theme. Each student in the group will select a sub-theme based on the group theme.

Teachers can guide students to identify sub-themes through brainstorming the theme.

 For example:

The Main Theme: Drug Abuse

The Sub-Themes can be:

* drug abuse treatments
* the effects of drug abuse
* how drug abuse contributes to crime
* how drug abuse affects teenagers


After sub-themes have been selected, students will now find their three (3) pieces of data/artefacts that further explains the theme. These pieces of data (artefacts) can come in the following formats: a document (articles, tables, pictures, audio (a recording), video, an interview etc). Student will select materials that is they can write a reflection on.

One of the three pieces must be print. Your audio can be placed on a CD or Flash Drive

Students should not do any interviews or questionnaires for this research. 


Students will then write their reflection of how the document/ artefact shaped their thinking about the sub-topic they are exploring.

Students will then examine how the language  helped them to further understand the sub-theme/topic.

Students will write THREE entries in which the student reflects on the issue/topic/ theme/ event selected should be completed in their portfolio.

The final piece of reflection should state how doing this SBA or Sub-theme helped the student to become a better person or improved his/her attitude. (This can be done at the end of the year.)

The entire group will have 12 pieces of data/artefacts in total. Students must use their own pieces of material. Students should not have the same reflections. Each reflection must be individual.

These reflections should be written in class.



State how the data/artefact has inspired you, affected you, impacted on you, and what does it remind you of.


Students will comment on the use of language. They will state if the language formal, informal, jargons, slangs, technical or distant tone. State how the language aid in your understanding of the sub-theme/topic.


State how the sub-theme/topic helps you to become a better person , shape your attitude, etc. (This should be done at the end of the term.)

WRITTEN REPORT (300 words)

This is a report on the research process. This also states the outcome of the research.

You can answer these questions in your written report.

*What steps have you taken to get your work done?
*How did you collect the data?
*Are you happy with the pieces you have done?
*Are you happy working as a group?
*Did you learnt individually or as a group?
*Did you meet as a group?
*Do you think the group was effective working together?

This report should be written as a group.


What you have decided to do as your contribution to your theme/sub- theme. Students can write a poem, drama piece, or prose piece. Students creative response after a brief overview of the research process.

A brief plan of the oral presentation must be submitted in the portfolio. This must be a part of the presentation.

This should be done in Standard English. Teachers will mark the presentation. The presentation must be recorded and place it on a CD or Flash Drive.


An introduction to the issue/topic/theme/event (A satisfactory response should be no more than 100 words).

(a) Why did you choose this issue/topic/theme/event?

(b) What are the expected benefits to you as a student of English?

(c) How do you intend to collect relevant information on your issue/topic/theme/event and use this in your presentation?


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Saturday, 15 October 2016


Lessons Learnt is my online lesson plan shop. There you can find free plans as well as plans based on the English A&B syllabus.

Lesson Plan prices start at US$1.50.

Lesson Plans include:

*Detailed objectives,
*Lesson Content,
*Introduction Activity,
*Development Activities based on discovery learning and other learning theories
*Culminating Activities
*Homework Activities
*Differentiated learning activities

NB: All lesson plans are reviewed by a senior teacher.

Please stop by and leave a comment. Click the image below to see the plans that are on sale,

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Things Fall Apart- Analyzing Okonkwo’s Personality

• Deep down Okonkwo really cares for the persons around him; however, caring was an attribute  of his father and he wants to be the complete opposite of him( he sees caring and showing feelings as womanly things)  thus  shows a lot of anger towards his family.

• Okonkwo is a good father, although he beats his children and does not treat them with affection. He beats his children so that they will become successful and hardworking and not lazy as Unoka, his father.

• Okonkwo is a good role-model and motivation to the clan because he is the epitome of a hard-working and successful man. This is due to the fact that, he started with nothing and became one of the most successful persons in the village.

• Okonkwo is a “No-non sense” person. He is all work and no play as he sees festivities, gatherings and time away from work as idleness and irrelevant events. This makes him angry and listless.

• Okonkwo cares too much about others opinions. He does not want people of the clan to look at him and say or even think he is weak or compare him to his father. This is shown when he decides to go with the men to kill Ikemefuna, although an elder told him not to.

•Okonkwo uses his father to judge others. An example of this is he sees similarities between his father and any man who he considers weak or feminine.  For instance whenever Okonkwo thinks that Nwoye is portraying a lazy character. he despised it and would curse and hit him. He does this because he is judging his son based on his father's behaviour.

                                                                                             written by: Students of Dinthill Technical

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Things Fall Apart: The Role of Women in Society

Much of the traditional Igbo life presented in this novel revolves around structured gender roles.

Essentially all of Igbo life is gendered, from the crops that men and women grow, to characterization of crimes. In Igbo culture, women are the weaker sex, but are also endowed with qualities that make them worthy of worship, like the ability to bear children.

The dominant role for women is: first, to make a pure bride for an honourable man, second, to be a submissive wife, and third, to bear many children.

The ideal man provides for his family materially and has prowess on the battlefield. The protagonist in the novel is extremely concerned with being hyper-masculine and devalues everything feminine, leaving him rather unbalanced.

Much of the gender theme in the book centres around the idea of balance between masculine and feminine forces – body and mind/soul, emotionality and rationality, mother and father. If one is in imbalance, it makes the whole system haywire.

Things Fall Apart: Summary of Chapter 5

Just before the harvest, the village holds the Feast of the New Yam to give thanks to the earth goddess, Ani. Okonkwo doesn’t really care for feasts because he considers them times of idleness. The women thoroughly scrub and decorate their huts, throw away all of their unused yams from the previous year, and use cam wood to paint their skin and that of their children with decorative designs. With nothing to do, Okonkwo becomes angry, and he finally comes up with an excuse to beat his second wife, Ekwefi. He then decides to go hunting with his gun. Okonkwo is not a good hunter, however, and Ekwefi mutters a snide remark under her breath about “guns that never shot.” In a fit of fury, he shoots the gun at her but misses.

The annual wrestling contest comes the day after the feast. Ekwefi, in particular, enjoys the contest because Okonkwo won her heart when he defeated the Cat. He was too poor to pay her bride-price then, but she later ran away from her husband to be with him. Ezinma, Ekwefi’s only child, takes a bowl of food to Okonkwo’s hut. Okonkwo is very fond of Ezinma but rarely demonstrates his affection. Obiageli, the daughter of Okonkwo’s first wife, is already there, waiting for him to finish the meal that she has brought him. Nkechi, the daughter of Okonkwo’s third wife, Ojiugo, then brings a meal to Okonkwo.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Things Fall Apart Background

Political Context

Approval of the entire clan is necessary before any major decision is made.
Egwugwu, the representative of the ancestral spirits, are integral in administering tribal justice.
Ndichie, the elders of the village, have a place of honour in the clan and their advice is respected.
The priests get their power from the Oracle, and their decisions are never questioned.

Religious Context

Ordinary people gain access to the gods through the Oracle.
The gods do not show themselves physically, but speak through the priests or priestesses.
The ancestors, embodied physically in the egwugwu, are revered.
There is the belief that the ogbanje, or spirit child, returns to plague its mother, ensuring that all her children die.
Twins are taboo and placed in the 'evil forest'.
The concept of the chi, or a person's identity in the spirit land, is important in Igbo religious beliefs.
A good chi can mean success, while a bad chi can mean misfortune.

Economic Context

Sharecropping provides a financial base for young men who do not inherit a barn from their fathers, or are simply in a financial crises.
Cowrie shells are the medium of exchange.
The family unit provides the basis for economic success.
Each individual, even the children, has a specialized role that contributes to the family's

Monday, 3 October 2016

To Da-duh, In Memoriam Comprehension Passage

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions set on it.

In the following extract, the narrator and her sister have come from New York to visit their grandmother, Da-duh, in the Caribbean.

One morning toward the end of our stay, Da-duh led me into a part of the gully that we had never visited before, an area darker and more thickly overgrown than the rest, almost impenetrable. There in a small clearing amid the dense bush, she stopped 10 before a royal palm which rose cleanly out of the ground, and drawing the eye up with it, soared above the trees  around it into the sky. It appeared to be touching the blue dome of sky, to be flaunting its dark crown of fronds right in the blinding white face of the late morning sun.
Da-duh watched me a long time before she spoke, and then she said very quietly, "All right, now, tell me if you've got anything this tall in that place you're from."
I almost wished, seeing her face, that I could have said no. "Yes," I said. "We've got buildings30 hundreds of times this tall in New York. There's one called the Empire State Building that's the tallest in the world. I can't describe how tall it is. Wait a minute. What's the name of that hill I went to visit the other day, where they have the police station?"
"You mean Bissex?"
"Yes, Bissex. Well, the Empire State Building is way taller than that."
"You're lying now! She shouted, trembling with rage. Her hand lifted to strike me.
"No, I'm not," I said. "It really is, if you don't believe me I'll send you a picture 50 postcard of it soon as I get back home so you can see for yourself. But it's way taller than Bissex."
All the fight went out of her at that. The hand poised to strike me fell limp to her side, and as she stared at me, seeing not me but the building that was taller than the highest hill she knew, the small stubborn light in her eyes began to fail. Finally, with a vague gesture that even in the midst of her defeat still tried to dismiss me and my world, she turned and started back through the gully, walking slowly, her steps groping and 70 uncertain, as if she were suddenly no longer sure of the way, while I followed triumphant yet strangely saddened behind.
(From To Da-duh, In Memoriam in Reena and Other Stories, Paule Marshall, The feminist Press, 1983.)

(a) What characteristic of the royal palm is suggested by EACH of the following?
(i) "... rose cleanly out of the ground" (line 11)
(ii) "... drawing the eye up with it" (line 12)
(iii) "... flaunting its dark crown of fronds" (lines 16 -17) (3 marks)
(b) Why did Da-duh watch the girl for a long time before she spoke? (2marks)
(c) What does the writer suggest by the phrase "All the fight went out of her ..." (line 54)? (2 marks)
(d) In lines 68-71, the writer states that Da-duh was "... walking slowly, her steps groping and uncertain, as if she were suddenly no longer sure of the ..."                                                            Give the real reason why she was walking in that way. (2 marks)
(e) Explain why the author is "strangely saddened" (line 74) (2 marks)

Monday, 26 September 2016

Things Fall Apart Background Information

Things Fall Apart is an English-language novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe published in 1958 by William Heinemann Ltd in the UK. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, one of the first to receive global critical acclaim. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and is widely read and studied in English-speaking countries around the world. The title of the novel comes from a William Butler Yeats' poem, "The Second Coming".

The novel shows the life of Okonkwo, a leader and local wrestling champion in Umuofia—one of a fictional group of nine villages in Nigeria, inhabited by the Igbo people (in the novel, "Ibo"). It describes his family and personal history, the customs and society of the Igbo, and the influence of British colonialism and Christian missionaries on the Igbo community during the late nineteenth century.


There is no specific date for the events in the novel.
Based on these same events, however, we can surmise that the novel takes place during the early nineteenth century to the early twentieth century.
The story occurs in Igbo territory in Nigeria.
Specifically, the plot unwinds in the villages of Umuofia, Mbaino and Mbanta.

Historical Context

British expansion had just gained relevance in the African interior.
Many of the missionaries, explorers and traders thought that the interior of Africa was a wild and dangerous place that was inhabited by primitive people.
There was a scramble for territorial control of Africa between 1870 and 1900 for two reasons:
           1. Africa was an untapped source for raw materials that could fuel the Industrial  Revolution in           Europe.

           2. Trade could be enhanced by using Africa as a stop off port on the way to the Middle East.

This scramble opened the door to the missionary's need to 'civilize' and 'enlighten' the population of this new colony/continent.

With the infiltration of these missionaries came churches and schools, both of which were instrumental in the colonising process.

The over arching result of the European infiltration was:
                    1. The indigenous cultural and religious practices were rejected and viewed as     uncivilized and heathen.
                    2. Tribal practices were outlawed.
                    3. Local judicial systems were replaced.
                    4. Trading posts and monetary systems replaced barter and rural systems of trade.

Social Context

The men are dominant and the women are subservient.
Social mobility is possible through personal achievement.
Success is measured by the number of barns one owns and titles that their wealth can buy.
The society is polygamous, and social prestige is accorded to a man that can afford to support      many wives.
The acquisition of a bride is a solemn event that involves ritual and ceremony.
Children are a sign of virility.
Villagers feel a sense of obligation to help each other.
Being hospitable to each other is very important.
Conversation involves ritual - palm-wine, kola nut, alligator pepper - and proverbs.
Members of the clan are prohibited from killing each other.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Things Fall Apart Audiobook

Monday, 12 September 2016

This is the Dark Time, My Love -Martin Carter

Link to a Reading of the Poem

The persona speaks to some-one that he cares for. He tells this person that this is the dark time, which is, in essence, a time of sadness. It is implied, by certain key terms; such as 'dark metal', that it is a time of war. The persona warns his 'love' that it is a dark, sad time.


Stanza 1, line 1 & stanza 2, line 7: The repetition of this phrase highlights that there is something seriously amiss. The persona is telling his 'love' that this is a sad and terrible time.

This device literally draws the readers' visual attention to the sentence. The sentence implies that everything that is good and positive is hidden away, or gone. This alliteration sets a sad tone at the very beginning of this poem.

This device emphasizes the sad tone of the poem. This is the case because flowers are usually associated with feelings of happiness and cheerfulness. Therefore, if the flowers - embassadors of joy -  are sad, then it highlights how really sad the times have become.

The contrast in this device is startling. The terms 'festival' and 'carnival' not only describes fun and festivity, but also a large amount of each. Both words are associated with huge crowds. This emphasizes how terrible the times have become because guns and misery are plentiful.


Stanza 3, line 13: This device informs the reader/ audience that a threat exists and that it comes in the dark of night.

Stanza 3, lines 14 - 15: It is implied that the threat is a soldier through the term 'boot of steel'. The 'slender grass' is the innocent youth who is cut down and trampled by these 'boots of steel'. The fact that we are given this information through the use of rhetorical question adds mystery and intrigue to the poem.

6.'All round the land brown beetles crawl about.'
Some variety of brown beetles are scavengers that feed on decaying or dead carcasses. Therefore, when the persona states that they crawl about, it implies that a lot of dead or decaying bodies exist in the land.

7.'season of oppression, dark metal, and tears.'
A season is an extended period of time. Therefore, the persona is telling his 'love' that it is a period of extreme sadness. This sadness is brought about by the 'dark metal', which can be literally interpreted as vehicles of war.

8.'man of death' 
The man of death, in this context, is the soldier.

9.'Watching you sleep'
Sleep is a state of extreme vulnerability. This is the case because when one falls asleep, they fall into unconsciousness, which equates to a state of defenselessness. The fact that the man of death, ie soldier, watches the persona's 'love' while he/she sleeps, implies that this person is not only vulnerable, but in extreme danger.

10.'aiming at your dream.'
The man of death's purpose is to destroy the persona's 'love's' dreams, or desires.

The mood of the poem is a sad one. The persona is giving his 'love' sad and depressing news.

The tone of the poem is also a sad one.

Racism, War, Oppression, Dreams and Aspirations, places.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Video Analysis of 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'



Saturday, 10 September 2016

'Dulce Et Decorum Est' by Wilford Owen



Wilfred Owen, the poet, tells of his first hand experience in war. He tells the tale of tired and wounded soldiers walking through dirt and sludge. Suddenly, there is a warning about gas, which the soldiers hurriedly and awkwardly heed by donning their helmets. Unfortunately, one soldier is too late in donning the helmet and his companions watch him 'drowning' in the gas. The unfortunate soldier was thrown in the back of a wagon, where it is implied that he was left to die. The persona points out that if you (the reader/ listener) could have witnessed these events, then you would not tell children the old lie: dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (It is sweet and honourable to die for one's country).



Stanza 1, line 1: This simile introduces the exhaustion of the soldiers.

Stanza 1, line 2: This emphasizes not only the tiredness of the soldiers, but the fact that they might be sick as well.

Stanza 2, line 19: This device gives a visual image of how the soldier physically reacted to the gas. Floundering implies flopping about, therefore, the soldier was flopping about violently. We know it was violent because fire and lime illicit excruciating pain.

Stanza 4, line 39: This device gives a visual image of the expression on the soldier's face. This is a particularly grotesque image that highlights the soldier in the throes of death.

Stanza 4, line 39: Cancer is a horrible disease that takes many lives on a daily basis. Therefore, to compare this dying soldiers face to this disease is to emphasize the agony that the soldier was going through, which was reflected on his face.

Stanza 4, lines 39-40: This is another graphic comparison that compares the soldier's face to incurable sores. 'Sores' is a disgusting visual image of degradation which, in turn, highlights the soldier in the throes of death.

Stanza 1, line 7: This device points to the level of fatigue that the soldiers were undergoing.

Stanza 1, lines 7-9: This highlights not only the fatigue that the soldiers were feeling, but the fact that they were injured as well.

Stanza 4, lines 29-30: This device highlights a visually graphic death mask. The soldier is in the throes of impending death.

3.'Bent double'
The soldiers are bent over with fatigue. It is very significant that the poet/ persona initiates the poem by highlighting the exhaustion of the soldiers. He is trying to emphasize the harsh realities of war.

4.'haunting flares'
Flares are typically used to signal distress. The flare is fired from a flare gun, in the air, where rescue crafts, at sea or in the air, can have a general idea of the location of the soldiers who are in distress. Therefore, to describe the flares as haunting implies that the soldiers are severly distressed by their situation.

5.'deaf even to the hoots of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.'
Five-nines are German 5.9 artillery shells. This means that bullets were firing around them while they were walking. The extent of the soldiers' tiredness is also emphasized at this point because the soldiers do not hear the shells going off around them.

6.'An ecstasy of fumbling'
The word ecstasy, that is used to describe the fumbling, implies the level of panic that this one word (gas) elicits. The soldiers' were so tired that they could not even hear the five nines, but this one word immediately wakes them up.

7.'Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, as under a green sea, I saw him drowning.'
This describes exactly what the outside world looks like through the lens of a gas mask. The effect of the gas is seen in the mention of the word 'drown'. It implies that the unfortunate soldier could not breathe.

8.'He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.'
This is the very graphic result of breathing in the gas. It is a very violent reaction, as seen in the word 'plunge'. The dying soldier did not simply reach for the persona/poet, but he did so in a desperate manner, while all the time being unable to breathe.

9.'wagon that we flung him in'
The statement implies that the soldier was left for dead in a wagon. No regard was shown to him, through the use of the word 'flung'. This implies that war is heartless and tragic.

10.'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.' 
This statement literally means it is sweet and honourable to die for one's country. The persona/ poet clearly does NOT believe this to be the case.

The mood of the poem is reflective. The persona/ poet is thinking about his experiences in WW1.

The general tone of the poem is both sarcastic and ironic. The persona/ poet tries to present a visual of the realities of war while using the haunting words that contradict that reality. It is, in fact, NOT sweet and honourable to die for one's country.

War, death, survival, oppression, patriotism

A video analysis of the poem will be posted tomorrow.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Dramatized Scenes from The Lion and The Jewel

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Persuasive Writing Notes

To persuade is to get a person or a group of persons to see something from your point of view or at least to understand how you see a situation.

In this type of writing you need to consider:

Audience:-knowing the audience to whom you are speaking or for whom you are writing. This will determine your Register.

Register:-this refers to the tone/language you use, for example, formal, informal, casual {formal to the Prime Minister; informal to a group of friends}This of course depends on the Subject.

Subject:-What you are writing about

Purpose:-reason for writing or talking about. Are you trying to:
-convince that your point of view is the correct one?
-appeal to someone’s weakness?
-get persons to change?

Persuasive Writing Must:
be logical
be based on fact
take into account the age, education and interest of the audience

Persuasive Writing should:
be convincing
use references to authority
use concise clear language without repetitions which make no sense
have clearly defined arguments

Persuasive writing can:
Appeal to emotions
Come from the writer’s imagination as well  as from experience

Persuasive writing includes:
Letters to the editor
Articles in the editorial of newspapers, agreeing or disagreeing with issues
Letters to members of the community, teachers, parents, presenting a point of view
Speeches meant to persuade or dissuade the listener or to express one’s point of view
Arguments, debates, speeches meant to express a point of view strongly
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