Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Sample Short Story 5

The Hope of Ancestors

The pregnant clouds outside kept out the sunlight. The morning was bleak and the sky overcast. It was not surprising when the clouds gave birth to heavy droplets of water which hit against the rusty zinc. Clink! Clink! The weather outside opposed my mood, yet I was happy. It was the morning my ancestors and my generation had waited for. I was the one. I was to recover lost hope although the weather demanded laziness; I was in the mood to work. I was joyful, hopeful and felt the strength that would enable me to move mountains. Generations had fought before the fight I was to fight to bring back respect and hope to my family. "Honey, will I pass?" I asked my wife, who was still half asleep on the bed beside me. "Yes, of course you must," she replied. It was one of those precocious flairs. I had developed as a result of my humble beginning: I could weather the weather whatever it was, whether I liked it or not. Could I do it this morning?

I arrived at the examination centre early that morning. I sat and watched my "opponents." The examination began. Everything was anxious except me - I was confident. I knew that I should pass; I must. Throughout the five hours that the exam lasted everyone looked into the eye of whomever they could. In those eyes was the look of dare. Those examinations decided your destiny, your fate. So in that room friends became enemies. Only one person would get through to study law; one of about seventy persons. I fought the battle with the papers. I demanded that post. Duty demanded it. It was like salvation to the sinner. It was like food to the starving man. Poverty was nothing anyone desired. You could be free yet incarcerated because of poverty. That exam was the verdict. The post was for the person who wanted it the most. Ting-a-ling-a-ling! The bell signaled the end of the battle. I had fought it well.

Two months later, I sat in my living room. The result would be communicated via the telephone. It was the day of reckoning. Who wanted it more? I sat with the phone in my hand. My heart was beating: thump! I thought my wife could hear it. My children sat with my wife and I on the bed. The phone was to ring anytime now. There was a deafening silence. We were all nervous. Instead of rain today however, the sun blazed in the blue skies above. It was element weather. Was it signifying success or was it failure? I did not know, we did not know. All they knew and I know was that our life depended on it. I suddenly remembered the vows I had made on my wedding day. If I failed, would we have to get a divorce?" For better or worse…! I was nervous. Ring! Ring! The phone rang once. It rang again. That was it.          

Monday, 27 February 2017

Tips for Answering Multiple Choice Comprehension Questions

1. Read the passage more than once to ensure that you understand it fully.

2. Look at the questions after you feel that the passage is clear to you.

3. Make sure you understand the instruction clearly. 
    For example, should you choose the best answer, or are you supposed to be identifying an      alternative that is false?

4. Pay attention to every detail in the question.

5. Read each question as if you had to answer it without choosing from a list of alternative answers.

6. Try to answer the question first without looking at the list of choices.

7. If you know the answer, select it from the list of choices and move on.

8. If you don’t know the answer, look at the choices and use the process of elimination to narrow   down choices.

9. Verify whether or not there is an "all of the above" or "none of the above" choice before selecting    your first choice answer.

10. Use the true/false technique to help you select between two similar answers. (Translate the question into a statement with each of the possible answers, and select one that is true.)

11. If you are not sure about an answer leave the question and then come back to it.

12. Do not leave any questions blank.

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.

resourse site: www.homework-online.com

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

Image result for to kill a mockingjay bird

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.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Mom Luby and the Social Worker Worksheet

Read the following summary of the short story entitled: ‘Mom Luby and the Social Worker’ and answer the questions attached.

This short story is about an elderly woman, fondly called Mom Luby, who fosters two small children. The story opens with her visit to the Social Welfare office, in order to obtain monetary assistance in taking care of the children. She then returns home to find people waiting to enter the speakeasy that she runs in her back room. 

There is a knock on the door, but instead of the police - coming to collect money - it is a social worker. The social worker, Miss Rushmore, visits in order to investigate the living conditions of the children. She is skeptical about some of the answers that Mom Luby gives, but gives her information about the many forms, along with lengthy directions, regarding the acquisition of clothes and shoes for the children. Mom Luby is astonished, yet slightly amused, about the length of time it could take to obtain clothes and shoes for the children. She responds by stating that she simply did not have enough time because she had a long list of chores to attend to. Miss. Rushmore volunteers to go along with Mom Luby, expressing her disbelief that she could accomplish so much in such a short time. 

They both return from completing the chores, with Miss Rushmore looking very bedraggled. She states that Mom Luby does not need her help because she got more things done in two hours than Miss Rushmore has managed to complete in two years. The great irony of the situation is revealed when Mom Luby comments that the Social Welfare office should consider hiring her, but Miss Rushmore comments that that is not possible because Mom Luby is not qualified.

1. From which point of view is the story told?  (1 mark)
2. What illegal activities is Mom Luby engaged in? (2 marks)
3. What effect does meeting Mom Luby have on Miss Rushmore? (2 marks)
4. What is ironic about Miss Rushmore telling Mom Luby that she is ‘Unqualified’?  (4 marks)
5. Compare and contrast how Mom Luby and the social worker deal with the needs of the two children.  (6 marks)




Saturday, 4 February 2017

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Thursday, 2 February 2017

Ol’ Higue by Mark McWatt

In this poem, the Ol' Higue / soucouyant tells of her frustration with her lifestyle. She does not like the fact that she sometimes has to parade around, in the form of a fireball, without her skin at night. She explains that she has to do this in order to scare people, as well as to acquire baby blood. She explains that she would rather acquire this blood via cooked food, like every-one else. Her worst complaint is the pain of salt, as well as having to count rice grains. She exhibits some regret for her lifestyle but implies that she cannot resist a baby's smell, as well as it's pure blood. The 'newness' of the baby tempts the Ol' Higue, and she cannot resist because she is an old woman who fears death, which can only be avoided by consuming the baby's blood. She affirms her usefulness in the scheme of things, however, by claiming that she provides mothers with a name for their fears (this being the death of a child), as well as some-one to blame when the evil that they wish for their child, in moments of tired frustration, is realized. She implies that she will never die, so long as women keep having babies.


Cane-fire has a very distinct quality. It burns very quickly and its presence is felt through it's pungent smell. Therefore, when the Ol' Higue compares herself to cane fire in her fireball state, it implies that she uses a lot of energy quickly, and is very visible. 


•Stanza 1,line 4: This rhetorical question highlights the scant regard that the Higue has for the average person. She is thoroughly annoyed that she has to literally waste her energy on them.

•Stanza 1, line 5: This highlights the fact that, again, she is annoyed that she has to expend so much energy to obtain a few drops of baby blood.

•Stanza 1, lines 6-8: The Ol' Higue is emphasizing the fact that regular people ingest blood too, just in a more palatable manner. She would not mind if she could ingest it in the same manner as well.

•Stanza 3, lines 22-23: At this point the Ol' Higue is making excuses for her presence, claiming that she serves an actual purpose in the scheme of life. If a child dies of unknown causes, she can be scapegoated for it.

•Stanza 3, lines 24-25: 'The murder inside your head' refers to the moments, when out of pure frustration and tiredness, a mother might wish ill on her child. The Ol' Higue is implying that, again, she can be used as a scapegoat if something unfortunate happens to the child. The mother is relieved of bearing the burden of guilt.

The repetition of the word 'soft' emphasizes the fact that the call of the child's blood has captured and beguiled the Ol' Higue'. She implies that she cannot resist that call.

This device emphasizes the Ol' Higue's dependence, even addiction, to the sweet blood of the baby.


5. 'stupidness!'
This is a distinctly Caribbean phrase that highlights frustration or scorn. Therefore, it highlights the Ol' Higue's frustration with her lack of self control.

6. 'gallivanting'
This term refers to some one 'playing around', having fun. The Ol' Higue is being sarcastic at this point. She is expressing displeasure at having to fly around to seek prey.

7. 'pure blood running in new veins'
Babies are often associated with purity, this is what is emphasized here. The Ol' Higue simply cannot resist the lure of new and pure blood.

8. 'holding her final note for years and years, afraid of the dying hum ...'
This tells us that the Ol'Higue has been living this desperate existence for a long time. It also implies that she will keep hanging on, despite her frustration. The final line confirms this point: 'As long as it have women giving birth a poor Ol' Higue like me can never dead'

The mood of the poem is reflective.

The tone of the poem is slightly bitter and resigned. She accepts that the cycle of her life cannot change.



Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Sample English B Paper 2 Questions


(2011 past paper)

Choose TWO poems that you have studied, in which something or someone is admired.

a) Describe what or who is admired. (8 marks)
b) Identify and discuss how the poet uses ONE poetic device in EACH poem to show this       admiration.  (9 marks)
c) Which poem do you find more appealing in its presentation of admiration?
     Use evidence from the poem to support your answer. (8 marks)

(2012 mock exam paper)

“Telling a story in poetic form can make it especially enjoyable.”

Choose TWO poems that you have studied that tell stories.
(a) Outline the story in each poem.  (8 marks)
(b) Why does EACH poet find it important to tell this particular story?  (9 marks)
(c) Discuss ONE device that EACH poet uses to make the story enjoyable. (8 marks)

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