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Lockie Leonard Assignment Part 2: Character Analysis June 14, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 08 English 2007.
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You need to do two analyses of Lockie, one arguing that the author wants us to see Lockie as being a good, likeable character and one arguing that Lockie is shown to be dislikeable. Both analyses need to follow the format below:


Reason 1

Reason 2

Reason 3


Here is an example of an analysis plan (with labels) suggesting he is a good character:

Introduction: Lockie Leonard is the lead character in the novel …. by Tim Winton, but are we meant to see him as the ‘hero’ of the story? By looking at evidence from the book, we can see that…

Reason 1: Lockie is a friendly, outgoing person who…
Evidence: (there should be at least two pieces of evidence per reason)
When Lockie first arrives in Angelus, he is keen to make friends…
Explanation: (this tells us what your evidence actually means)
This shows us that Lockie is a friendly, helpful person who… which are
characteristics that readers will find appealing and likeable.

Reason 2: Lockie is responsible…
Evidence: Helps his brother
Doesn’t take a cigarette from Vicki
Explanation: The sort of person who helps others and… is one that most people would admire.

Reason 3: (You’ll need to think of one for yourself)

Conclusion: Someone outgoing, responsible and … is displaying characteristics that most readers will see as being “good”. The fact that Lockie has been given these characteristics by the author shows us the author wants us to like Lockie.



Lockie Leonard Assignment May 31, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 08 English 2007.
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Here is a copy of the Lockie Leonard assignment. I’ll also put this up on Studywiz, when I can get it working on my computer. You can see an example of how to complete Part One of Part One below.
Lockie Leonard Assignment

Lockie Leonard Assignment Part One: Self Portrait May 31, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 08 English 2007.
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Here is my Self-Portrait, followed by a guide as to what the images are and why I chose them.

Mr B’s Self Portrait

Mr B’s Self Portrait Key

1. This is a “collage portrait” of myself, put together from a few different images. The head is from an actor called Paul McGann who looks a bit like me, with some glasses superimposed from another picture. I wasn’t going to put the glasses on at first as I prefer to think of myself without them but I suppose I am wearing them more and more as I get older. I added the body of another actor wearing a leather jacket as I have worn leather jackets since I was about 18 and don’t seem to be recovering from that obsession. The lower half consist of jeans and some Converse All Stars, which I also tend to wear a lot.

I also quite liked the pose I managed to put together as I feel it’s quite a playful pose, but also quite a strong one. These are two words I would probably use to describe myself.

2. Music has always been very important to me. I worked in a record shop for years and still write as a music journalist for an international magazine. Although I mostly listen to music on my ipod, I still prefer to buy albums on vinyl. This is because I’m very old.

3. This is a picture of my girlfriend pretending to be a lioness at a zoo in Washington. I included it because we’ve been together for years and years and she’s obviously very important to me. Also, I think it’s a good picture of her as it’s silly and fierce at the same time – two adjectives I would use when describing her!

4. Converse All Stars (see my description for Point 1)

5. Friends. These are two of my friends I’ve known for years. I’m very grateful to have such wonderful friends and feel they are a very important part of my life.

6. These are two paintings by artists I really like. The one on the left is by a street artist called Banksy and it’s actually painted on the wall that seperates Palestine from Israel. It has a wonderful contrast between ugliness and beauty, which appeals to me. The painting on the left is by an American Artist called Edward Hopper and is called Nighthawks. I find his work very moody.

7. There are three pictures here from some of my favourite TV shows. I think the TV shows people choose to watch tells us a lot about them. The three I’ve picked are Doctor Who (which is very imaginative), The Mighty Boosh (which is also imaginative and silly) and Black Books. I sometimes worry I am more like the (rather rude) lead character in Black Books than I should be.

8. These are pictures from two of my favourite films, Withnail & I and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I think the theme that links both films and appeals to me is that of friendship in difficult circumstances.

9. This is Battersea Power Station in London. I used to live very close to it and have always found it a magnificent building.

10. This is a sculpture on Cottesloe Beach in Perth, Western Australia. I grew up here.

11. These are two of my favourite pieces of clothing, my long leather coat and and argyle vest.

12. This is a picture of an albino wombat. I think I like this picture because it’s one of the oddest things I’ve ever seen.

13. Books. I put these in to represent the fact that I’m an English teacher.

Book Review May 22, 2007

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You’ve all had plenty of time to read a few books now, so it’s time for you to choose one of them to review. You can write on any book you’ve read, including Lockie Leonard.
We’ve already written film reviews, so you should have a good idea of what you’ll need to do. Like last time, we’ll start by answering some questions:

• What are you reviewing? What is it about? What’s the plot?

• What genre does it fit?

• What is the tone? (Is it funny or scary or sad or exciting?)

When and Where questions

• When does the action take place?

• Where does the action take place?

Who questions

• Who wrote it? What else have they done?

• Who are the main characters?

• Who’s the intended audience? (Is the book written for children, Young Adults etc.)

• Who has said what about this? Why? (You’ll need to research some reviews on the internet)

How questions

• How does it convey its tone? Is it successful in making the reader feel a certain way? (eg. Which events are exciting or sad or funny? Does the way things are written about make the audience feel a particular emotion?)

Evaluation questions

• Did I like this in general? Why?

• What specifically did I like/dislike? Why?

• How could it be improved? Why would particular changes help?

Reflections on English April 18, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 08 English 2007.
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Welcome Back!

Before we get started on this term’s work, let’s take a few moments to reflect on the work we did last term. We’re also going to spend today getting our digital portfolios up to date. Hooray!

For those of you with short memories, your assignments were:
Fox Assignment
Movie Review & Questions
Superhero Story

We also worked on writing from different points of view, commas, apostrophes and full stops, and writing dialogue.
Write a blog post in which you use the following prompts to talk about how you think you worked last term.

The best work I did in English last term was… (Explain Why)

The most interesting thing I learned in English last term was… (Explain Why)

The assignment I most enjoyed was… (Explain Why)

The assignment I least enjoyed was… (Explain Why)

The book I most enjoyed reading was… (Explain Why)

Other things I have learned in English…

I found I learned most when I…

I could have learned more if I…

The environment I learn most in is…

What I think I need to work on this term is…

How I think I can make sure I’m working to the best of my ability…

TASK TWO: Digital Portfolio

Add your work from last term to your digital portfolio. For each piece, you should write a small paragraph containing the following:


You should also put in a link to your blog. Write a piece about your blog and put that in your portfolio too.

The Runaway Bride: Some Questions to Start! March 15, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 08 English 2007.
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These questions require you to analyse (or think about) how everyday objects are used in a surprising and often sinister way in the episode of Doctor Who we watched yesterday.

1. What are some ordinary objects or events that are used in extraordinary ways in ‘The Runaway Bride’?
• For example, the Doctor’s timespace machine is disguised as a phonebooth; the alien robots are disguised as..? Think of at least five events or objects.

2. Why do you think the show uses ordinary objects and everyday things in a strange and surprising way? What effect do you think it has on the viewer/reader to see everyday objects used in such a way? Is it funny? Scary? Exciting?

3. Do you think the scene on the freeway where the TARDIS is chasing the taxi would have been more or less effective if the TARDIS was a typical-looking spaceship? Why do you think this?

Now move on to the questions below!

Film Review – Doctor Who:The Runaway Bride March 10, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 08 English 2007.
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Our next task in class will be to write a Film Review. This film review will be on the episode of ‘Doctor Who’ we watched in class yesterday.

You’ll need some information on the people who made the episode, which can be found here:

The writer was Russell T. Davies and the director was Euros Lyn. All the other important details should be on the Fact Sheet.

You can find another review here: (
Sfx Review

Some quotes here (scroll down to the bottom): Wikiquote

And some more details here: Wikipedia Entry

Following the steps below will help you do the best you can.

Firstly, answer these questions on your blog:

• What are you reviewing? What is it about? What’s the plot?

• What is the director’s purpose? Is it to entertain or to educate?

• What genre does it fit?

• What is the tone? (Is it funny or scary?)

When and Where questions

• When was it made? Or when does the action take place?

• Where was this done? Or where does the action take place?

Who questions

• Who wrote it, directed it, or acted in it? What else have they done?

• Who are the main characters?

• Who’s the intended audience?

• Who has said what about this? Why?

How questions

• How does it convey its tone? Is it successful in making the audience feel a certain way?

• How well does it fulfill its purpose?

Evaluation questions

• Did I like this in general? Why?

• What specifically did I like/dislike? Why?

• Did the writer/actors/director do a good job? Why or why not?

• How could it be improved? Why would particular changes help?

Now you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to start writing your review. Look at the structure below to see how you should go about doing this.

1. Title – choose one that is catchy. A title can indicate if review will be positive or negative and you can try playing with words to make it funny or different

2. Paragraph 1 – Opening paragraph – can start to summarise film and give early suggestions about your general view of it (positive/negative)

3. Paragraph 2 – Start or continue summary of film, don’t give details about the ending or else no one will go and see the film!!

4. Paragraph 3 – positive things you thought about the film, what did you like? Why? Use descriptive words, think about the story, setting, effects used, music used

5. Paragraph 4 – negative things you thought about the film, what didn’t you like? Why? Comment on the same type of things that you mentioned in paragraphs 3 and 4

6. Paragraph 5 – Characterization – talk about the characters, did you like them? Did the actors play them well? What was it about their portrayal that you liked or didn’t like? Other impressions of the characters, will certain audience members be able to relate to certain characters? How? Will certain audience members not like certain characters? Why not?

7. Paragraph 6 – Final comments – general comments that summarize your view of the film, you may want to say something inspiring to get the reader to want to go out and see the film or you might say something that would want them not to go and see it! After the paragraph you would give it a star rating out of 5 to indicate your rating for it.

Common words and phrases used in film reviews that you might want to use in your own reviews;

spectacular visual effects, excessive violence, breathtaking, evocative, mood, atmosphere, poorly, unsuccessful, detail, scenery, irresistible, perfect, moments, plot, this movie has been compared to ____ because, wonderful, hilarious, momentum, unexpected plot twists, unbelievable, phenomenal, hype, suspense, disappointing, confusion/confused, fake, imitation, genre, unoriginal, typical, thrilled, was a very moving portrayal, quality of the film, I was impressed by, credible, cliché, a mixture of, classic, captivating

For more details on how to write a good film review, you can look here:


Superheroes March 8, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 08 English 2007.
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We’re going to be writing some imaginative stories over the next couple of weeks. To get started, we’re going to be recreating ourselves and giving ourselves some nifty superpowers. We’ve talked in class about the TV Series ‘Heroes’, where ordinary people suddenly develop ordinary powers and we’re now imagining that we are one of those people.

To get started you’ll need to answer the following questions on your blog:

1) What will your power be? Explain what you will be able to do but also explain its limitations. Remember what we discussed about needing limitations for drama. If you can do anything, anytime, then any story based around you is going to be pretty boring.

2) Why do you want this power? What will be some good things about having this power? What benefits will it bring to you/others?

3) What will some negative things be about your power? How could you power cause problems for you or those around you?

Once you’ve answered these questions and put them on your blog, you can start work on your short story.

We’re going to be writing a joint story here at http://herospace.wikispaces.com

Calvin and Hobbes: Writing Dialogue March 6, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 08 English 2007.
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1. Write down what happens in these comic strips as a simple conversation. Remember what we’ve learned about using apostrophes for speech.
eg. ‘Psst Calvin, pass this secret note,’ Susie said.
‘That dirty Susie Derkins!’ Calvin said.

2. Now you’ve written down all of the conversation, we need to go back and add a few more details. Good writing needs to convey a lot of information that pictures can do quite easily. For example, HOW do the characters say what they say? What kind of mood are they in? Are they speaking quietly, happily, angrily? This is where we start to use descriptive language (adjectives) to give the reader an idea of not only what is happening but what it looks like/sounds like/feels like. Where is the conversation taking place? What do the characters look like?

Rewrite the conversation above but with these extra details. It should be quite a lot longer.

eg. It was hot in the classroom. The warm afternoon sun was burning through the windows and steaming up the air inside. It didn’t help that the airconditioner was broken. Because of this, Calvin was already in a bad mood. His red and black striped shirt was damp with sweat and the jagged points of his blond hair were starting to wilt.

(These opening lines have been added to give us a sense of SETTING. Words can sometimes do this better than pictures. The cartoon doesn’t let us know what the temperature is like in the room, so I’ve made this up. A reader wants to know, so they can imagine themselves in the setting.)

The teacher, Mrs Wormwood, was busy at the blackboard. She was a large woman with a crumpled face, as if she had too much skin, like one of those bulldogs Calvin’s neighbours had.

(This character description of the teacher not only tells us what she looks like, but the way it describes her gives the reader an idea of what her personality is like. If she was described as looking like a mouse, we might imagine she was timid and quiet.)

Susie, the girl who sat in front of him, turned in her seat, holding a folded piece of paper in her hand. Susie was weird. Her mum always cut her hair in a sharp fringe that sometimes made her face look all sharp and pointy. At times she seemed to like Calvin but then would other times become irritated when he tried to get his toy tiger to eat her toy rabbit. Maybe all girls were weird like that. Now it seemed that she wanted to talk to him.
‘Calvin,’ she whispered, holding out the paper. ‘Pass this note to Jessica. It’s a secret note, so don’t read it.’
Calvin took the note. For a moment he was glad that Susie was trusting him with a secret, but then an evil thought occurred to him. Evil thoughts often occurred to him and he wasn’t very good at resisting them. A wicked smile broke out across his face. While Susie’s back was to him, he quietly unfolded the note, careful not to make any noise that would let her know what he was doing. Ha! He would learn Susie’s secret and then he could use it against her when she next told him off for feeding her rabbit to his tiger.
Slowly, slowly, his fingers opened the note and, chuckling to himself, he read its contents.
‘Calvin,’ the note said, ‘You stinkhead! I told you not to read this!’

(Again, I’ve added a lot of detail that isn’t in the comic strip. Writing a story instead of drawing it allows us to give the reader a lot more information about what the characters are thinking and feeling. We can tell the reader WHY the characters do the things they do.)

Okay, away you go! Post the results on your blog, putting the comic strips at the top of your work.

Apostrophes (of death!) February 26, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 08 English 2007, CSC Year 08 Punctuation.
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1) To Show Possession

Luke’s presentation was on ghosts.
Harley’s voice was the loudest in class.

2) Contractions

Had not = hadn’t
Has not = hasn’t
Is not = isn’t
Do not = don’t
Will not = won’t
Was not = wasn’t
I am = I’m
It is = It’s
Can not = can’t
Does not = doesn’t

Luke wasn’t driving carefully and hadn’t seen the lights were red.

Harley’s running down the hallway, away from Mr Bartlett’s classroom.

3) To show ‘talking’, ‘quotes’ or ‘titles’

The teachers at Croydon SC said, ‘8A are an abomination.’

Maddie went to see ‘Happy Feet’ during the holidays and said sarcastically, ‘That’s the best film I’ve ever seen.’

‘Be quiet,’ Mr Bartlett said, ‘Or you’ll all die horribly.’

4) Its and It’s

It’s = It is
Its = ownership.

Eg. The dog played with its ball.

Premier’s Reading Challenge February 13, 2007

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Those of you undertaking the reading challenge this year should have a look at this website.

Premier’s Reading Challenge.

Spelling for Friday 16th February February 13, 2007

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Wide Reading (Again!) February 13, 2007

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As you know, reading widely is an essential part of your English Course for 2007. Throughout the year you’ll be expected to be reading a book at all times, whether it’s a book you need to read for class (like Lockie Leonard and Holes) or one that you bring in from the library or from home (like Harry Potter etc.)

We’re going to be using our blogs this year to think about the reading we’ve been doing. To get started, answer 2 or more of the following questions in SEPARATE POSTS on your own blog. If you have already completed 2 exercises, CHOOSE DIFFERENT OPTIONS this time.

  • Describe one of the characters from the book you are reading. What do they look like? Where do they come from? What do they want from the story (eg. Do they want to find their father/sister/boyfriend/pot of gold)? Do you think you are supposed to like the character? Do you like them? Why/why not?
  • Write a letter to one of the characters, talking about what they’ve been doing in the book. What would you want to say to them?
  • Write a short story about something that happened to one of the characters before the start of the story you’re reading.
  • Write a Horoscope for one of the characters, predicting what will happen to them on a crucial day.
  • Predict what you think will happen at the end of the story. Explain why you think this.
  • Write a review of the book (if you’ve finished, explaining what happens in the book and what you did or didn’t like about it)
  • Write a short story about something that happens to one of the characters AFTER the book is finished.
  • Pretend you are one of the characters writing in to an “Agony Aunt” column for advice about whatever problem they are facing. Then write back, pretending you are the “Agony Aunt” and give the character some advice.

“FOX” Assignment February 12, 2007

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Write your own version of “Fox” in the 1st Person, from the POV of one of the three main characters.

This is to be presented as a poster, with accompanying illustrations. If you want to present their story as a comic strip, that’s fine, as long as each panel is accompanied by at least one sentence written in the first person. (If you do want to write the story as a comic strip, come and see me first.)

You can either write your version of the FULL STORY or choose one of the options below (each a page)

i. Write a piece from either Fox or Magpie’s point of view, starting as they are running out into the middle of the desert. What are they thinking? What is Magpie thinking when she is left alone? What is Fox thinking when he leaves her alone?

ii. From either Magpie or Dog’s point of view, write a story starting when they return to the cave and ending when Magpie is ‘flying’ for the first time on dog’s back.

iii. From either Magpie, Dog or Fox’s POV, tell the story of fox’s arrival in the cave. What does your chosen character think of the other characters? What does s/he want?

iv. Tell the story of Fox convincing Magpie to leave dog from the POV of one of the characters. Why is Fox trying to convince her to leave Dog? Why does Magpie agree?


Foxes and Friendship February 12, 2007

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1) Write a short piece on your blog, explaining what “friendship” means to you. Who has been a good friend to you? When have you been a good friend to someone else? What does it mean to be a “good friend” to someone?

2) Do you think it’s important to have good friends?

3) Why is Fox described as a ‘flickering tongue of fire’? What does this tell us about the effect he will have on Dog and Magpie.

4) Think of five words that describe Dog, Fox and Magpie.

5) Magpie feels that Fox’s smell fills up the cave. She isn’t really describing his smell, but how she makes him feel. What does this tell you about how she feels about Fox?

6) Why do you think Fox splits up Dog and Magpie? Would he have done this if he had more friends of his own?

7) Why would Fox’s scream be a scream of despair? Why would it be one of triumph?

8) Do you think Magpie was really good friends with Dog? Why/why not?

Write a Poem, Win a Wii February 12, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 08 English 2007, CSC Year 11 English 2007.
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Details here: http://www.write4fun.net/competitions.asp
If you need any help getting an entry ready, come and see me.

8A Blogs February 8, 2007

Posted by Myke Bartlett in CSC Year 08 English 2007.
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Here is a list of everyone’s blogs for this class. Today you’ll need to go through and add each of them to your blogroll.

  • To do this, log into wordpress.
  • Come back to this page and then click on each person’s blog (to the right)
  • On the blue bar at the top of each page, select “Blog Info”. Then select “Add to Blogroll”.
  • Come back to this page and go on to the next student.