Grade 10 & IB English

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What in Hell?

As the Grade 11 Lang Lit HL students reached the end of Dante’s Inferno, they were asked to create a circle of hell that they believed was missing from the epic poem. This process included deciding on what sin they thought was grave enough to be punishable by eternal damnation and then devising the perfectly opposite punishment in relation to that sin. This punishment is referred to as a contrapasso, or “suffer the opposite”, an illustration of poetic justice that Dante is renowned for.

The following are their individual posters.

File_005 File_004 File_001 File_003 File_000 (2) File_002 What would you include if you had the power to shape the underworld?

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Picture This

One of the skills that is cultivated in the English classes is that of annotation. Students should be able to read a text and isolate quotes that they feel are integral to deepening their understanding. Some of the ways that this is practiced in the classroom is through the creation of dialectical notebooks and through creating posters using the imagery found within a work.

While reading 1984, the Grade 10 class was asked to do the latter, choosing important scenes and illustrating them using the imagery found in quotes that they had to look for. The results are below:


Winston and Julia’s first meeting


Winston’s dream of his mother and sister


Mr. Charrington’s room above his shop

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Reading Graphic Novels Academically

Superman, Batman, Watchmen. Graphic novels have, until recently, often been associated with a specific subculture that it has long been held in disdain among academics. But as the members of this subculture have grown up and entered the academe, graphic novels have become more and more accepted as a literary genre with its own set of conventions and characteristics that lend themselves to scholarly study. Among the most talked about are Marjane Satrapi‘s Persepolis, which chronicles her life as a child living through the tumultuous years of the Iranian Revolution.

Persepolis Cover Art

Persepolis Cover Art

As the Grade 12 Language and literature class end their IB careers, they looked closely at the graphic novel and the context that inspired it.  They were shown this TEDxDartmouth video to help them navigate the balance of image and words.

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Introducing Inferno

This month, the Grade 11 Language and literature higher level class began Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, their second text for the Literature – Critical Study portion of the course.

As an introduction, the class watched the episode of Great Books that explains Dante’s historical context and the significance of his writing on the formation of the Italian language as we know it.

To watch the video, click on the image below.