Saturday, 22 April 2017

Garvey the Musical : Roots Reggae Rock

Garvey the Musical : Roots Reggae Rock  is written and directed By Michael Holgate.

The University Players, under the direction of Michael Holgate has created an empowering musical theatre production based on the life and impact of Marcus Mosiah Garvey. The production, GARVEY, Roots Reggae Rock includes drama, singing and dancing performed by students and alumni of the University of the West Indies.

The story is part civics lesson on the life of National Hero Marcus Garvey and part empowerment education for young people as well as general audiences. It is an edutainment production, which highlights the valuable teachings in self-love and acceptance from Jamaica’s first National Hero, a first class Jamaican philosopher.

The show runs from May 12-28, 2017 at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.

Please call 1(876) 927 1456, 1(876) 9271047 or 1(876) 367 7953 for more details.

Friday, 21 April 2017

CSEC English Facebook Study Group

Join our CSEC English Made Easy Study Group for tips, sample questions, past papers, etc.

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Things Fall Apart Historical Background

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".

Image result for thing fall apartThe 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 colonizing 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.

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 financial success.

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1. Describe the feeling or mood at the beginning of the poem.
(b) Give a reason for the mood.

2. What does the word “shoulder-high” suggest in (a) Stanza one (b) Stanza two?

3. The poem is about
(a) A renowned runner
(b) A promising athlete
(c) Reflections on an athlete dying young.

4. “The road all runners come” suggests
(a) the route taken by all runners
(b) the path leading to death
(c) the road in which athletes compete.

5. Why does the poet refer to the athlete as “smart lad”?

6. “Eyes that shady might has shut” suggests
(a) the deep sleep of the athlete.
(b) the eternal sleep of the athlete
(c) tried eyes.

7. Give the meaning of “its echoes fade”.19

8. Why do you think the “laurel” in Stanza seven remains unwithered?

9. The poet’s attitude in the poem is one of
(a) acceptance (b) protest (c) anger (d) joy

10. The message that the poet wants to convey is
(a) athletes should die young.
(b) honour and glory are worn out by time.
(c) athletes are recognized only after they die.

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Monday, 17 April 2017

CSEC English Exam Countdown + We Need Your Help

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I have received your emails, contact form messages, comments and other requests; most of these messages are requests from you for additional content (poetry analysis, short story analysis, CSEC English SBA, study tips, etc). It saddens me when I am unable to assist. Currently, the blog is created, designed, updated and maintained by one individual. As a full time teacher, it is challenging to meet ALL of your requests by myself. 

The solution to this is to have content writers come on board. Having content writers working with the blog will enable me to upload more original content (sample essays for English A and B, more sample questions, more poetry and short story analysis, sample ENGLISH SBA, etc )  However, currently  I are unable to hire content writer's because the blog does not generate an income to pay content creators.  

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Saturday, 15 April 2017

A Contemplation Upon Flowers by Henry King

                                                           STANZA 1
Stanza one centers on the characteristics of flowers.  They are gallant, humble, etc., and they return to the earth (figuratively, they die every winter--but this isn't revealed until later) after putting on a show.

His first lesson that he learnt was to become brave and to remember the place where the flower came from, as referred to line 1, 5-6 " Brave flowers that I could gallant it like you“ The persona wishes that he could be as brave as the flowers, who are aware of their allegiance to the earth. " You are not proud you know your birth for your embroidered garments are from earth."

They know their place and obey the order, or cycle, of life and death. The persona wishes that he could be this way because he is the opposite, he wants to live forever. The persona wants the flowers to teach him NOT to fear death, but to accept it.

Line 1 can also be identified as a literary device known as personification because brave flowers cannot gallant which only living things such as animals or humans can do. Also in line 5 and 6 can be identified as Biblical allusion another literary device because the bible in the books of John and Mathew Jesus talked about the lilies in the field where they are created and their birth place.

Stanza two switches focus to the speaker:  he would rather it be always spring, so he'd never have a winter (again, so he'd never die, but this doesn't become clear until later:  winter is often used as a symbol of death).  He wishes he could go to the earth (his grave), and look as cheerful, and smile, as the flowers do when they go to their earth.

The second stanza the speaker learnt the second lesson which was to accept nature and their selves for today the flowers in the field may be beautiful and blooming but tomorrow the flowers know their beauty will not last forever where they may withered away and torn to pieces. In line 7 and 8 "You do obey your months and times, but i would have it ever spring;" metaphor can be found in the sentence.

In stanza three, the focus on the speaker in stanza two combines with the focus on the flowers in stanza one, as the speaker asks the flowers to teach him to not fear death; to teach him that his breath may sweeten and perfume his death, as the flowers' breath sweetens theirs

. In the last stanza the poet learnt his last lesson which was to accept death as referred in line 13 and 14 " Oh teach me to see death and not to fear, but rather take truce." The only literary device that can be found is rhyme. In line 17 and line 18 " You fragrant flowers then teach me that my breath like yours may sweeten and perfumed my death."

The name was given to the poem because the poet shows that the speaker is studying the poem. This poem "A contemplation upon flowers by Henry King" is about a man who wants the flowers to teach him to become humble.

The comparison of the life of a simple flower is made to the life of a human, in the sense that we both are born, we both live, and we both must die. Majority of people fear death, but the flowers accept death with open arms and a smile. This poem by Henry King praises flowers for not only their humble lifestyles but also for their acceptance of death. Instead, the flowers taught him three lessons.

Stanza 1, line: The persona is wishing that he could be as brave as the flower. This implies that the persona does not think that he is brave, but a coward in the face of death.
Stanza 2, line 14: This is another comparison between the persona and the plant. The persona wishes that he could look death in the face and be cheerful, like the plant. Again, this emphasizes that he fears death.

This phrase is a replacement for the word death. It softens death and makes it appear welcoming and pleasant.

It is ironic that the flowers look so fresh and alive, when they are facing their very mortality, on the top of a casket. Death is a sad affair, yet the flowers are at their best when ushering people back to the earth.

The persona is speaking directly to the flowers and giving them human qualities, therefore, the whole poem is an example of the use of personification at its best. He even goes as far as to ask the flowers to teach him things that will allow him to acquire their qualities.

The tone of the poem is admiration, because the persona literally admires the flowers for its accepting attitude towards death.

The mood, or atmosphere of the poem is a pensive one. The persona is thinking about death, how he relates to it versus how others relate to it.

A contrast in this poem is the persona's fear of death, versus the flowers' acceptance of it.

Death is the overwhelming theme in this poem. The persona admires the way in which the flowers deal with death and wish to emulate it. Death is a very scary prospect for the persona.Nature is his willingness to accept nature as a worthy contrast to humans personality and approach to life. He uses the natural to highlight the failings and weaknesses of man.

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Monday, 10 April 2017

To Kill A Mockingbird Chapters 16-21 Summary

Image result for to kill a mockingbirdChapter 16

Everybody from Maycomb heads downtown so that they Atticus suspiciously leaves that evening. The children decide to follow him. They find him in a chair outside of the jail reading a book. They continue to watch him when a group of men approach the courthouse. The group demands that Atticus let them get to Tom, but Atticus won't give in. Jem, Scout, and Dill burst into the scene, much to the shock of Atticus. Scout recognizes one of the men as Walter Cunningham and tries to strike up a conversation. Eventually this awkwardness breaks the group up and they leave. Tom calls out from his cell asking if the men have left. Atticus tells him everything is fine now. Mr. Underwood, editor of the local newspaper next door, calls out to them and says that he had his eye, and his gun, on the situation the whole time from his window above. Atticus takes the children home. Later in the afternoon, the children decide to head into town as well. The children see Dolphous Raymond, a white man sitting with all of the black citizens. Scout and Dill are confused as to why he would keep such company when it goes against most social rules. Jem explains that Mr. Raymond is gossiped about in town and prefers the company of the black community.

The court is uncharacteristically crowded and the children cannot find anywhere to sit. Reverend Sykes, the minister from Cal's church, takes them to where the black citizens are sitting and finds them seats. When they are all seated, Sheriff Heck Tate is the first to take the stand.

Chapter 17

Sheriff Tate testifies that Bob Ewell came to him saying that his daughter Mayella had been raped by Tom Robinson. Atticus questions Bob Ewell and asks him about why a doctor was not called. Ewell says that it was plain enough to see what had happened to Mayella. Throughout the testimony Bob also explains that Mayella received a black right eye in the attack. Atticus gets Ewell to admit that he is left handed, part of his plan to make the jury realize that it was Ewell who probably beat Mayella.

Chapter 18

Mayella takes the stand. She testifies that she asked Tom into the house to do some chopping. Once they were in the house alone she says that Tom beat and raped her. Atticus makes her clearly state that it was Tom who choked her, beat her and raped her. When she does, Tom stands up to reveal an almost useless left arm. It was badly injured in a farming accident leaving it damaged and much shorter than his right arm. Atticus finally asks Mayella if it was her father, not Tom Robinson, who attacked her that evening. After the intensity of the testimony, the court takes a small recess.

Chapter 19

After the recess, Tom takes the stand. According to his testimony, he had been on the Ewell's property many times, helping Mayella with different chores. The evening of the accused crime, he said that she asked him in the house to fix a door. While his back was turned, she wrapped herself around him. He shook her free and she tried to kiss him. Bob Ewell saw them from the outside and called his daughter a whore. Tom testifies that he was very afraid of what would happen to him and so he ran. Link Deas, Tom's employer for many years, suddenly stand up in the courtroom and says that Tom Robinson has never been a problem for him and has never done anyone harm, which causes a stir in the courtroom.

When the prosecution questions Tom, they ask him about his previous conviction for disorderly conduct. He had been in a fight with a man and spent a month in jail for it. The prosecution also asks Tom about why he was always helping out Mayella and what his motives were. Dill finds the prosecutor's attitude to Tom so upsetting that he and Scout leave the courtroom.

Chapter 20

Dolphous Raymond calls over Scout and Dill. He says that he has something that will help Dill's stomach. He gives Dill a sip of the drink in his paper bag, which the town has always believed to be alcohol. It turns out to be Coca-Cola, which surprises the children. Dolphous explains that he leads the town to believe that he is a drunk so that they have a reason to dislike him. After Dill's stomach improves the children head back into the court for final arguments. When Atticus finishes his closing arguments, Cal enters the courtroom.

Chapter 21

Cal has brought a note for Atticus. It is from Aunt Alex stating that the children have been missing all day. Mr. Underwood points out that the children have been in the colored gallery of the courtroom. Atticus tells them to go home for dinner, but that they may return to here the jury's decision. The children go back home with Cal, who chastises them the whole trip home. After a long dinner, the children return to court to find the jury still deliberating. Later the jury returns with a guilty verdict.

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Saturday, 8 April 2017

CSEC English SBA Facebook Group

I have been unable to keep up with the volume of questions based on the CSEC English SBA; so, I decided to create a Facebook SBA group for us to  continue the discussion.

We have been sharing resources in the group and in time the aim is to also share best practices.

The group is a closed group preferably for educators. It is FREE (just putting it out there). Just click on the link below and request to be added  and you will be.

I look forward to seeing in there.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Reviewing The CSEC English A and B SBA Rubric

Here is a video in which the CSEC English SBA rubric is reviewed:

Monday, 3 April 2017

To Kill A Mockingbird Chapters 9-14 Analysis

Image result for to kill a mockingbird quotes

As Scout's fights with school children, and her cousin Francis, would suggest, the trial is going to be a major hurdle for the Finch family. In an old fashioned Southern town like Maycomb, racism abounds.

 The town is not so much upset that Atticus is defending Tom, which is his job. They are upset that Atticus plans to defend Tom to the best of his ability. Maycomb residents believe Atticus should not put any effort into the case and let it all be done with. When a black man has been accused of raping a white woman, the verdict has already been decided regardless of the facts. Even Atticus' family sees the situation this way, which explains Scout's fight with her cousin.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

CSEC Talks About E-Testing

E- testing is on its way whether we like it or not. In the video below CSEC talks about the platform and the goals they wish to achieve through the use of e-testing.

What do you think about e-testing in your country or school? What are some of the challenges you anticipate? 
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