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  English 10: Current Worksheets and Notes (2006)


Sample Essays:

Keeping the Burglars Away!
Sample 350-word essay written with the Advanced Composition class.

"Talking About My Generation"
A 300 word sample standard essay from the English 10 class.

"The Advantages of a House" and "The 'Why' of Crime"
Two sample essays demonstrate how to show, with examples.

"A Fat Nation" and "Some Unattractive Entertainment"
Two more sample essays demonstrate the standard, five paragraph structure.

Examples of Body and Conclusion Paragraphs
Examples of student-written paragraphs. Teacher's comments included.

"Writing an Essay" by student, Ana
Her personal view of successful essay writing. Includes comments from her classmates.

More Advice from Teachers:

Solving the Mysteries of Writing
Brad's personal essay on his three-step approach to writing better essays.

Writing Essays
Pat's feature includes a quiz to test yourself on essay structure.

How Essays are Marked

Marking Your Writing
Patricia explains the "C,F,S,M" marking system used by the teachers.

Passing Your Writing
Brad explains how teachers mark your compositions.  How can you do better? Find out at this information page. (Specific information for Level 5 and 10 essay writers provided.)

Quizzes on the Essay

Essay Structure Quiz (Multiple Choice)

Essay Structure Quiz (Fill-in-the-Blank)

Weekly Features on the Essay by Jennifer

Select, Audience, Brainstorm: The Essay Part One

Order: The Essay Part Two

Communicate: The Essay Part Three



Notes for January 4, 2006 Class

NOTE: To print only these notes, highlight the text with your mouse, then click the right mouse button and choose print. In the next box, under "Page Range" choose "selection" to print only these notes. Thanks for your patience with my sore throat today everyone! Brad

Two Sides of a Topic?

If you are asked to choose a topic from two sides—house or apartment for example—then only briefly mention the side you don’t prefer. The other side is where you give all your details.

Set Up a Working Thesis

After you brainstorm, try to set up three topics and write a “working thesis” to allow you to work on the body paragraphs.

Plan Body Paragraphs Separately

At first, treat each body paragraph as a unit. Later, when you assemble it together you can decide which paragraph goes where and provide transitions.

Often, paragraphs follow time order (process) or priority (least to most) and, if necessary, we may organize by our best last and then our next best first and our least best second.


Write a beautiful and over long introduction with specific ideas that should be in the body. Then write a very nice body 1 and pretty good body 2 and lousy/terrible body 3 and a one-line conclusion.

Brainstorm Ideas:

Yards: flowers, trees, grass, bbq, pets, play areas, vegetable garden, tree house.

Student Writing Comment:

Cause and effect examples were common. For example, people mentioned the grass and that it was a nice place for kids to play or to visit with friends. Or, they mentioned a barbeque and then how nice the food would be or sharing with friends again.

Lots of students used the senses very much. We have our nose, our ears, our eyes, our mouths so use them in your writing!

I love to look at my flowers. BUT, it is better to look at my roses or daffodils or tulips. Hydrangea is a flower in Tien's garden.

Here is a good reason to improve your vocabulary of common things.

Concluding Sentence Examples (for Body 1):

A yard is a good place to barbeque, visit friends and get some sun, so I prefer living in a house.

A yard is great because it gives us space for living and so a house is what I prefer.

Brad’s Rule:

Write the body first and then the conclusion. After the conclusion, the introduction is pretty easy to write. Introduce what you know you've done.


Give a general idea of the topic you’ve chosen. Begin generally, but close to your topic. Avoid overly general beginnings.

“A house is really a valuable gift for most of us. Though it costs a lot, they still strive to obtain one. In the eyes of most people, houses have three main advantages: a yard, interior space and personal freedom.”

*YES, get the reader’s attention. NO, do not confuse them.

Be sure not to overstate your argument. Words like “everyone” and “everybody” are dangerous.

Brad’s Rule (2):

The first sentence can indeed mention the topic and say something general and interesting to say about it.

Start by stating a statistic or fact of interest to the topic.:

“In 2005, BC houses rose 15% in value. Why are people so crazy for buying a house these days? Because owning a house has three big advantages:

“I hate landlords. One time my landlord drank all my liquor while fixing the furnace. Owning your own house has some big advantages:

Not only do we have access to a yard when we own a house, but we also have lots of personal space inside our home.

Paragraph Hooks (Transitions)

A “paragraph hook” is a sophisticated way to make the transition from body 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 etc. To use a hook, mention the former topic before introducing the new topic.





Notes from Friday, November 25 Class

This week, students defined the term, "freedom," before reading a poem titled, "Freedom." Here are their thoughts on freedom.

What does it mean to have freedom?

Group One: Having freedom is like having power. Freedom is an inside feeling and may not depend on outside conditions.

Group Two: To do whatever we want, as long as we don’t harm others.

Group Three: We can speak and act freely within the law.

Group Four: Freedom is a naturally given right. It allows us our independence in action.

What can we do?

We can move where we like. We can speak our minds. We can broadcast our thoughts. We can worship as we wish. We are treated equally, no matter our sex, our religion, our race. In Canada, these rights and freedoms are still in process.

Any restrictions?

Rules and laws make exceptions. A culture has its own special rules. Religions each have rules to follow that restrict freedom. My conscience (my own ideas and morals) may prevent me.

Do some have more or less? Who and why?

Money allows us more freedom. Children have to follow more rules than most of us. Sometimes women have more restrictions. Some citizens of some countries face more restrictions. Prisoners are not free.


Note on Using Quotations in Your Writing

Quotation marks show words that are written by someone else other than you. You are always free to use anyone’s words in any writing. You, however, are not free to pretend that you wrote them yourself.



Notes from Friday, November 18 Class

The notes include character traits discussion for the story and five rules for using dialogue in your story.

Words to Study for Vocabulary Test Next Wednesday

All sentences for the test will be from student writers

  1. cultivated
  2. dominion
  3. outwit
  4. torture
  5. prime
  6. execute
  7. enamour
  8. astonish
  9. tranquil
  10. treason


Character: The Tsar

Traits: snobbish, sceptical, inventive, imaginative, demanding, tricky, strict, mean, powerful

A snob is someone who most often thinks he or she is better than others. A snob is often shallow. A shallow person is someone who sees everything very simply.

We see the Tsar is all-powerful and because of the tests he gives, it is clear he doesn’t really care too much about what happens to others.

A sceptical person is not a bad person. Scepticism is something that may protect us. The Tsar wants proof of the cultivated ways of the maiden before he believes it.

The father is a wimp. He doesn’t believe he can solve the tests and weeps instead. He is a coward, too.


 When characters speak to each other in a story. Any spoken words are dialogue.

Rule One:

 Any spoken words are placed inside quotation marks. ( “   “)

 Rule Two:

 Each new person who speaks gets a new paragraph. However, if you give more descriptive details, you may continue until the new speaker speaks.

     “Please lend me your pencil,” Zarmina said to Peter. Peter looked puzzled. He had no pencil. Perhaps she wants a pen, he thought.

     “I think you are mistaken,” Peter said, “because I have no pencil to lend you!”

    “Peter, could you lend me your pencil?” Zarmina asked.

   “No, I’m sorry but I have no pencil today,” Peter replied.

     Secretly, however, Peter was pleased because he was new in the class and didn’t know anyone.

The person who tells us the previous information is called the narrator. The writer writes the story and usually is the same, but not always.

Rule Three:

If we use a question mark or exclamation mark before we tell you the speaker then we use NO comma.

Rule Four:

If we tell you the speaker in the middle of our sentence, then the first comma is inside the quotation mark and the second comma is after you tell us the speaker and before the quotation mark.

Rule Five:

If the speaker speaks a full sentence and you identify them, the period comes at the end of the sentence and not before the quotation mark.

Think of Three “Impossible Tasks.”

From the story, “The Judge and the Couple,” the first task is to give the reasons for a divorce in only a few words like a McDonald’s slogan.

In a folktale, anything can happen: pigs can talk.

Dig a whole mountain and remove it.

Swim across the ocean.

Fill the jar with a hole in the bottom to the top with water.

Shoot the sun with an arrow.

Take the moon and the stars from the sky and put them in your house.


English 10: Folktale
“The Maiden Wiser Than the Tsar”
Worksheet Number Three: Beginning to Write a Folktale

Designing a Main Character:

Write down some ideas for your main character. Describe the character physically: big, tall or small etc. Give the character a name.

What about personality? Name three important traits for your character. How will the character’s personality help or harm the character in your story?

Designing a Plot:

What meaning (theme or message) will be communicated to the readers? State the meaning in a full sentence. Remember, you may not use this sentence in your story. The reader must understand it from the plot you use.

How will your story begin? (“The Maiden Wiser Than the Tsar” begins with the father going to beg from the Tsar, for example) Make sure the event is interesting and helps begin the action in the story.

What kinds of conflict will the character face? (difference between characters or between a character and his or her environment) What other character will be in conflict with your character?

How will the character solve the conflict?

Pair Work:

Share your ideas with a partner. Help each other by asking questions and making suggestions.


Use your ideas to write a short folktale of at least 250 words (or more if you like; “The Maiden Wiser Than the Tsar” is about 1 000 words) Include dialogue (spoken words). Make sure each character speaks differently!

Read the first draft of your folktale to a friend or family member and get advice and suggestions to improve your story.

After you get some help, write your final copy. Bring it to class on Wednesday, November 23.

English 10: Folktale
“The Maiden Wiser Than the Tsar”
Worksheet Number Two: Vocabulary and Group Work


Today, students will first share their vocabulary sentences for correction and improvement.

We will look at least three compound and at least three complex sentences on screen.

Group Work:

Identify the characters in the story. What is one important trait of each character? (Definition of trait: “a particular characteristic or quality that distinguishes somebody”)

Write down adjective (s) for each character. Point out places in the story that support your chosen adjectives. Do not use the same adjectives used by Idries Shah in her story! Often, a character’s actions or words help us to find traits.



Action or words that support this trait:



Action or words that support this trait:



Action or words that support this trait:

To write a folktale, we need to include dialogue between characters. Find the dialogue in the story together. Write a short list of important grammar and writing rules for dialogue. (For example, “all dialogue (spoken words) is enclosed inside quotation marks (“    “) Be sure to say if your rule is always followed or sometimes followed.

Rule One:

Rule Two:

Rule Three:

Rule Four:

After all groups have finished their discussions, we will share our answers together and make notes to take home.



Think of three “impossible” tasks that a character in a folktale might face. Write them down and bring them to class on Friday. For example, in the story the maiden must try to empty the sea with a small glass. Suggest a possible, clever solution for your task. Have fun!



English 10
Writing an Essay
November 2, 2005

Today, we will discuss the classes we have taken so far this term. From our discussions, we will develop ideas for a standard, five-paragraph, essay.

Thinking on Paper:

Take 10 minutes to write down your favourite and least favourite parts of three different classes we have taken in English 10 this term.

Group Work:

Work together to explain and share your comments. Where do group members agree? Do you disagree on parts?

Reviewing Essay Structure (Whole Class)

What are the important elements of a standard essay? We will list and discuss these elements to be sure everyone knows the requirements.

Writing Assignment (First draft due on Friday, November 4, 2005; Final copy due on Wednesday, November 9, 2005)

REMINDER: The test on Unit One Vocabulary for Language Exercises Level H will be given on November 9, 2005.

Using your notes from today’s class write an essay about what you have enjoyed (and not enjoyed) about each of three English 10 classes.

q       Each body paragraph should be from 75 to 100 words. Each paragraph will discuss one class.

q       Write a short introduction and conclusion of about 35 to 50 words. Total essay length will be approximately 300 to 400 words.

English 10: Writing
Time to remember a kindly September
September 23, 2005

Today, we will begin writing short descriptive paragraphs. We will examine Douglas Cornish’s writing for ideas to make our own writing better.

Looking at the Details

Look at the topic sentences for paragraph 2, 3 and 4. Write them below:

Find specific details that support the ideas found in the topic sentences. List them below:

What did you notice about the details you found?

Paired Work: Compare your work with your partners. Add or change information on your own sheet.

Class Discussion: Share your results with the class.

Writing about Autumn:

Using the ideas you have found in Douglas Cornish’s topic sentences, write your own topic sentence about autumn.

Support your topic sentence with specific details from your experience living in Vancouver. (better yet, go for a walk this weekend and observe!)

Write about 125 words. Take your draft home today. Revise your work. Bring both copies to class next Wednesday.


Teacher Writing Sample: Facing the Autumn

Index of Winter 2005 Lessons

Index of Spring 2005 Lessons

Index of Fall 2004 Lessons

Index of Spring 2004 Lessons

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