Language and Literature

March 11, 2019 to April 6, 2019

During these past few weeks, we learned more about Shakespeare’s writing technique and style and how various filmmakers of the present day have interpreted them. We used our knowledge of mise-en-scene to gain a deeper understanding of suspense in different films and the techniques used to create and further build it. We looked at various sound effects, dramatic silence, light and tonal contrast and so on.

This week, we participated in a Mini-Unit inquiry and created our own discussion points as well as original questions in reference to the events that had taken place during Act 3 of the Scottish Play. Various lively discussions helped us empathize with the characters and interpret their behaviour.

Additionally, this week we looked at gossip columns by analyzing two articles on the basis of their language, text structure, content and other elements characteristic of this text type.

-Ananya Kar and Maanya Pagare

February 25, 2019 to March 10, 2019

We started our unit by watching a video clip, which at first, we analyzed from the surface by discussing the characters and the emotional impact it had. Soon, we moved on to the larger themes, which we later realized were connected with the main literary work of our unit – the play Macbeth.

Following a similar theme, we then moved on to a poem by Margaret Atwood, titled ‘Siren Song’. While analyzing, we were surprised by a plot twist, when the ending of the poem revealed a shift and gave the entire poem a completely different meaning. Again, we understood the themes and connected them to Macbeth.

Then, we worked in two teams to evaluate the list of dark deeds that occurred in the play and were challenged with a question: who is to blame – the mastermind behind the plan or the one who executes it? The class engaged in a timed silent debate that involved working on post-its to make a point and a rebuttal.

We ended this two-week period with finally cracking open our copy of The Bard’s play.

February 11, 2019 to February 24, 2019

Throughout the past few weeks, we have been exploring two different text types – personal narratives and appeals. To understand personal narratives to the fullest, we wrote one personal narrative from the perspective of an object that is dear to us. This was quite a challenging task, but in the end, it helped us to learn how to write, what the key features are and so much more. We went to the library, where we independently searched for a book that would qualify as a personal narrative. To do this we had to use all our knowledge gained in class. Thereafter, we moved on to learning how to write appeals. Our first task to help us in learning how appeals work was a group activity where we studied sample appeals. This helped us to learn the format, register and the driving motive behind an appeal and how to write one to achieve our purpose more effectively. To test our knowledge, we practiced writing appeals.

Ishaan Shrimali

January 2019

We started our new term with an informative discussion of our holiday tasks, which soon transitioned to the topic of a personal narrative. During the week, we visited the library where we categorized a few books offered to us as biographies or autobiographies by examining the narrative voice and the point of view. We identified hook statements in the introductions as well as the message the author wants to pass on to his audience in the ending statement of his work. We learned about three ways to start an autobiography or a memoir and tried our hand at it while writing narratives of our own.

-Maanya Pagare

October 21, 2018 to November 17, 2018

Last week it was important for us to contextualize the novel ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’ to better understand the historical and social scene it was written and received in. We conducted a webquest to find out more about Victorian England, the history, society and artistic movements of that era. We presented our findings in class and began exploring the text of the novel. We established the purpose of the initial setting and the way Oscar Wilde expertly used floriography and musical references to foreshadow the future events. To aid our exploration of the foreshadowing, we listened to “Wildszenen” by Robert Shumann and listed the moods evoked by the musical piece. We compared our findings to actual subheadings of Schumann’s work and established the possible character development the protagonist will undergo.

October 7, 2018 to October 20, 2018

The past fortnight, we began a new unit, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, with an introduction to ethics, one of the focal points of the text. We investigated a case study as well as interpreted some advertisements published in media in the previous years that are considered unethical in the present day. We commented on the explicit and implicit messages these advertisements were sending and came to a conclusion that the perception of the text is shaped by a variety of factors, including the reader’s perspective as well as the cultural and socio-historical contexts. To sum it up, the morals we live by may not necessarily be the same as everyone else’s.

Dea Shetty

September 23, 2018 to October 6, 2018

The past two weeks have been an exciting journey in language and literature, as we completed our group presentations that dissected and discussed one of Ernest Hemingway’s famous works, The Old Man and the Sea. Soon after we focused on analysing Invictus, a marvellous poem by William Ernest Henley, and establishing intertextuality between the two pieces. The unit closed with a surprising discovery of Hemingway’s own explanation of symbolism one can find within his work. Overall, a productive two weeks have gone by and we are thrilled to move forward into the next unit.

-Anandi Nambiar

September 8, 2018 to September 23, 2018

Our first formative assessment was followed by feedback and a redrafting session. Afterwards, we discussed the symbolism and allegory present in the text and how it translates into Santiago’s Code Hero’s Journey. We delineated five days in our text and in groups of four started working on presenting the day allocated to us, with focus on Santiago’s trajectory throughout the novella, Hemingway’s writing style, descriptive language and indirect characterization through dialogue.

September 1, 2018 to September 7, 2018

We wrapped up all our writing challenges and produced three descriptive paragraphs. While peer-assessing them, we used sticky notes to mark the stages of our progress over the three tasks. Now we are fully geared up for the coming formative.

August 18, 2018 to August 31, 2018

We started working on descriptive writing techniques. After a short discussion, we came to a conclusion that the reader constructs meaning of the text just as much as the writer does, hence, it is extremely important to anticipate the audience’s emotional reaction. We have noted down and implemented a few tips and tricks of good description and practiced them by expanding a plain declarative sentence. We attempted to construct meaning of our own using seemingly nonsensical word combinations and short sentences, with an eye on brevity of expression.

August 1, 2018 to August 17, 2018

The academic year began with activities which helped us recap our prior learning and comprehend command terms, Global Contexts, key concepts and related concepts for the subject. This was followed by an introduction to Modern Literature and its characteristics. We started our first unit ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ and decoded the concepts of a Code Hero, symbolism and allegory. We have discovered that the Code Hero’s journey overlaps the Freytag’s Pyramid and attempted the plotting using a medium of our choice.