Wednesday June 23rd

23 06 2010

Morning all!

I’m blogging from the iPad. Living the dream. It turns out there’s a WordPress App for iPod touch that runs just fine on the bigger screen. Loving it.

Anyway, I suppose you’re wondering what you’re doing today.

ENGLISH – Speech Writing

Coming up on the business end of term means we really need to get these speeches written. I’m going to assume that by this point you’re pretty well informed on your topic, so we can start looking at the steps you’ll need to take in writing the speech itself. Follow this broad format, and you’ll put together something rock-solid.

1. DEFINE YOUR TOPIC: What are you talking about? Don’t pose it as a question – it makes it sound contrived, and like a school debating topic. Talk about it as a free-standing, interesting, relevant issue. Explain your topic in detail. Who is affected by it? What form do those effects take? How long are we as a society likely to feel those effects for? In this section of your speech your goal is to interest and engage your audience, and make them care about your topic.

2. OUTLINE THE PROBLEM: Why is it pertinent to discuss this topic now? What problems are arising through the way it is currently being handled? Feel free to talk this part up to be a little bit bigger than it actually is, as long as you keep things accurate (embellish, don’t invent!!), and you approach the topic from a moderate, balanced, compassionate viewpoint (for example, those talking about legal issues need to be careful not to sound like police at one extreme or criminals at the other, and those talking about population need to be careful not to sound like racists or hippies.)

3: SUGGEST A NEED FOR A NEW APPROACH: Exactly as it sounds. Stress that under current conditions, the situation you describe is heading for disaster.

4: OUTLINE YOUR MODEL: This is where most of your research and thinking come together. How do YOU propose to solve the problem? What systems would you put in place to improve the stare of your topic in the world?

5: SUGGEST AN AMBITIOUS GOAL OR OUTCOME: Give your model something to aim for. Be a little bit more specific than “make the world a better place.”

6: CONCLUDE: Recap the main problems posed by your topic and how your model will help.


Mathletics, y’all. Hit it.


Lord of the Flies Redux – Synopsis Outline

27 05 2010

Yesterday we spoke about the issues at the heart of the plot to Lord of the Flies.  Here’s my quickie synopsis that I wrote – see how it compares to yours:

A group of boys are in a place far removed from their home with no adult involvement, due to circumstances out of their control. After initial agreement, there is division and conflict over how the group should lead & organise itself and behave. One boy manipulates the others into behaving unethically for his own glorification despite the known risks to their safety. The conflict intensifies, and a small group of boys are alienated and persecuted, which leads to the death of 2 of them. Finally, contact is made with their home society, and they are rescued.

Later, we spoke about the central events of the plot so that we could rewrite it, set in today’s world.  We figured that the key points were as follows:

  • A group of young people find themselves in an inescapable situation due to poor adult decisions, with no adult involvement.
  • A group forms and agrees upon leadership, rules, and etiquette.
  • Conflict emerges between two strong personalities.
  • One strong personality takes advantage of a rumour and uses it to manipulate the others into behaving unethically.
  • The conflict intensifies, and the 3 young people who have not been manipulated are made outcasts and persecuted.  The following conflict leads to the deaths of two of them
  • Finally, adult intervention ends the conflict.

Your job from here is to take these key plot points, and write them into a plot synopsis for a new version based on the old ideas.

If you’re looking for ideas as to how they might be refugees from something, have a look at this.