English Language Arts B10
Module 2: Environment and Technology
Lesson 6
English Language Arts B10
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Lesson 6
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Lesson 6
Objectives
As a student of language arts and communication processes, in
Lesson Six of English Language Arts B10, you will have an opportunity
to:
recognize organizational structure in narrative writing.
practise the behaviours of an effective reader.
read a variety of literary selections.
practise behaviour of effective listeners.
recognize four types of writing.
understand poetic devices and figure of speech.
build vocabulary.
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Lesson 6
Environment and Technology
Introduction
It is impossible to escape from your environment. Environment is everything that is
around you, such as buildings, nature, and people. Attitudes and beliefs are also
part of your environment.
Our surroundings have impact on us and we, too, impact our environment; for
example, when large areas of land are paved over for roads and shopping malls, the
environment changes. When acid rain or other toxic wastes enter the soil, or rivers
and lakes, nature can be seriously affected. When dry, barren land is irrigated so
that it produces food crops, the environment is changed. In many ways, we have a
relationship with the land and with the nature that surrounds us.
In Lesson Six you will consider:

What is the relationship between people and nature?

How can humans work in harmony with nature?

What challenges do humans experience with respect to nature?

How do urban and rural environments contribute to the quality of our lives?
Environment
What do you think of when you see the word environment?
There are three general types of environments.

The natural environment includes everything that we usually think of as nature.
All plants, animals, birds, fish, as well as the elements, such as wind, water, and
air are part of the natural environment.

The environment created by people is called the human-made environment.
Technology is human-made. Buildings, roads, airplanes and so on are all
examples of the human-made environment.

The beliefs, traditions, and practices of groups of people are aspects of our
cultural environment.
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Lesson 6
Activity A:
How Do Our Environments
Affect Us?
Elizabeth Brewster is a Saskatchewan writer who has thought about
how environment shapes people. Brewster was born and raised in
New Brunswick. She then lived and worked in a number of different
cities before she came to Saskatoon to teach English at the University
of Saskatchewan. In this activity you will read the poem, “Where I
Come From” by Elizabeth Brewster. Your instructor will give you a
copy of the poem.
Before reading
(3)
1.
The title of Brewster’s poem is “Where I Come From.” How do
you think that where you come from has influenced you? In the
space below list three ways where you come from has defined
you.
a.
b.
c.
During the reading of the poem, think about your answers in Question 1. Does
Brewster mention things you would not have thought about?
.
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Lesson 6
Read “Where I Come From,”by Elizabeth Brewster
After reading
(3)
2.
The most important idea in the poem I just read is:
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Lesson 6
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(3)
3.
This poem seems to be a very personal one in that it seems to
be the poet’s voice we hear, rather than a speaker’s voice that
she has created. In sentence form tell which environment
Elizabeth Brewster prefers: urban or rural. Use evidence from
the poem to support your answer.
(3)
4.
New Brunswick is a province of rivers, forests, hills (the
Appalachians reach their northern most point in this province),
and coastal areas. During her childhood Brewster lived in
several rural areas in New Brunswick. She tells us in her poem
that where she came from “Spring and Winter are the mind’s
chief seasons: ice and the breaking of ice.” In a sentence or
two tell what you think are the two main seasons in
Saskatchewan. Provide a reason for each choice.
Avoid beginning any answer with the term “I
think.” What you write is your thoughts and
opinions. As such, the term “I think” is
redundant.
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Lesson 6
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Lesson 6
Activity B:
Which Environment Do You
Prefer – Rural or Urban?
How would you compare the rural environment with the urban
environment? Rural means relating to the country, or people making a
living from the land. Urban refers to the city landscape, tall buildings,
and people who work in the city. There are many reasons that people
choose to live in the country and just as many reasons that people
choose to live in the city. Which environment do you prefer? Why?
In her poem, "Where I Come From," Elizabeth Brewster seems to prefer living in the
country because in her estimation cities do not smell nice and things are "tidily
plotted" – too much city planning – yet she has spent most of her adult life living in
cities.
Some people who live in the city yearn for the country. What are some reasons that
people move to the country? Some people who live in the country wish that they
could live in the city. Why?
(3)
1.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to living in the
city and to living in the country. Fill in the chart below by jotting
down some of your ideas. State three advantages and three
disadvantages for each.
Disadvantages
Advantages
Country Living
City Living
1.
1.
2.
2.
3.
3.
1.
1.
2.
2.
3.
3.
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Lesson 6
Were you able to find an equal number of advantages for each living environment?
The city is filled with human-made constructions, yet nature continues to call us
through the birds, trees, gardens, and so on. Parks and nature areas are very
important to city planning. If we live in the city, do we recognize how much we need
the natural environment?
In a short while, you will read a poem entitled “The Geese Over the City” by Emma
LaRocque.
Before reading think about what you know about geese flying overhead.
At what time of the year do you see these birds?
What feelings do you have when you hear the honking of the geese?
During reading take notice of the literary devices and figurative language
LaRocque is using in her poem to help convey her message. Your instructor will
give you a copy of the poem.
"The Geese Over the City" is a shape poem.
A shape poem, also called a picture
poem or, more formally, a calligram, is
a poem which takes the shape of its
subject. Writers who produce shape
poems are as interested in how words
look as in how they sound. To appreciate
a shape poem, it helps to put aside your
usual ideas about language, and think
about the poem as if it were a painting or
a sculpture. Shape poems are sometimes
referred to as concrete poems.
About the author
Dr. Emma LaRocque is a writer, poet, historian, social and literary critic,
and a professor in the Department of Native Studies, University of
Manitoba. She specializes in colonization and its impact on Native/White
relations, particularly in the areas of cultural productions and
representation.
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Lesson 6
Read “The Geese Over the City,” by Emma LaRocque
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Lesson 6
As mentioned earlier, LaRocque has used a number of literary devices and some
figurative language in her poem. The most obvious literary device that she has used
is the presentation of her thoughts on this topic in the form of a shape. The poet
has also used alliteration, onomatopoeia, repetition, personification, and metaphor.
(5)
2.
In the spaces provided, write clear definitions of the literary terms
listed below. To help you with these definitions, you can consult a
dictionary, or another source that provides a glossary of literary terms.
a.
alliteration
b.
onomatopoeia
c.
repetition
d.
personification
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(2)
e.
metaphor
f.
From the poem quote two examples of personification. Keep in
mind that when quoting you need to use quotation marks
around the quotation.
_______________________________
_______________________________
(2)
g.
From the poem quote two examples of onomatopoeia.
_______________________________
_______________________________
(2)
h.
From the poem quote two examples of repetition.
_______________________________
_______________________________
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(2)
i.
From the poem quote two examples of alliteration.
_______________________________
_______________________________
(1)
j.
From the poem quote one metaphor.
_______________________________
(3)
3.
In one or two sentences state where you believe LaRocque would
prefer to live. Use direct evidence from the poem to support your
answer.
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Lesson 6
The Natural Environment
People have great impact on the natural environment. The natural environment also
exerts its living forces on people. Some people believe that nature is to be tamed,
while others believe that nature is a source of life and a force to be respected.
In the next activity you are invited to listen to a personal narrative told by Jack
Hodgins, a high school English teacher from Nanaimo, B.C. This excerpt, from his
short story entitled “Earthquake,” refers to the earthquake that hit Vancouver island
in 1946 when Hodgins was just eight. Its epicentre was in the Strait of Georgia,
near Comox, B.C. Causing considerable damage and taking two lives, this is
Vancouver Island’s largest earthquake on record.
Chimney collapsed through roof of
elementary school in Courtenay by
the 1946 Vancouver Island
earthquake.
Damage to the interior of Courtenay
elementary school by the Vancouver
Island 1946 earthquake.
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Lesson 6
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Lesson 6
A personal narrative is a story which
expresses emotions or captures a
meaningful incident in the author’s life.
A narrative is one type of writing that responds to a need to tell, whether the
story is about yourself or about others. A narrative is usually told in a particular
order. The events are relayed according to what happened first, next, and last. This
type of organization or framework is called chronological order. Novels, as well as
stories, are usually arranged chronologically.
The personal narrative you are about to listen to also contains description.
Sometimes a narrative will contain other kinds of writing, such as description, or
exposition.
Narrative writing responds to a need to tell a story.
Expository writing responds to a need to explain.
Descriptive writing satisfies a need to describe.
Listening to a Personal Narrative

Have you ever had a frightening experience in nature?

What image comes to mind when you hear the word earthquake?

Have you ever witnessed/experienced an earthquake or seen the effects of
an earthquake?
As you listen to Jack Hodgins’ share his experience with an earthquake; imagine the
scene that he describes. Compare your image with his experience.
Jack Hodgins begins his story in the present. Then he flashes back to when he was
a child on the farm. This literary technique is called flashback.
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Lesson 6
Did you know that in an autobiography,
a writer tells the story of his or her own
life. For example, the story of Wayne
Gretzky, if written by Wayne Gretzky,
would be an autobiography. An
autobiography uses first person point
of view.
A biography tells the story of someone
else’s life. The subject of a biography
does not write it. For example, a story
of Terry Fox, as told by someone else,
would be a biography because Fox did
not write the story. A biography uses
third person point of view.
Find a quiet environment where you can listen to the story without
distractions or interruptions. Make yourself comfortable and ready to
attend to the story. Before you play the recording, recall the images that
the word Earthquake presents to you.

What do you know about earthquakes?

What do you think life was like on a Canadian farm many years ago?
Set a purpose for listening.
As you listen to the story for the first time, listen for enjoyment. Think about:

What vivid pictures come to mind as you hear the details of Jack Hodgins’
experience with the earthquake?

How is the natural environment portrayed?
As you listen to the story for the second time, attend to the structure of the events,
how the language is used, and how the narrator tells his story.

Note words that indicate order or time, such as: “when,” and “last summer.”

Listen to the emphasis in the tone of voice.

Note the variety of sentences used by the narrator as she shares his experience.
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Lesson 6

Listen for the author’s use of figurative and sensory language.

Note his speaking voice. Pay attention to the pauses and the loudness and
softness of his voice.

Note the tone of the story: Is it a humorous tone? Is it a serious tone?
After listening to the story for the first time, what is your initial response? Did the
sensory language and the details capture your attention? Could you imagine the
experience of being a child on a farm in B.C. Canada and how an earthquake might
affect your family, the farm, and the animals?
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Activity C:
Response to Reading and
Listening
Note: The following questions are based on Jack
Hodgins’ oral story.
(10) 1.
True/False: Circle the T beside each statement if the statement is
true; circle the F beside each statement if the statement is false.
T
F
1.
“Through the window she could see her husband
swaying like a drunken man,” is an example of
simile.
T
F
2.
“My brother laughed, but wouldn’t leave his chair
at the kitchen table. The sight of a fried egg
dancing on his plate was not an entertainment to
walk away from,” is an example of metaphor.
T
F
3.
“It was as if the earth, worn out from its
convulsion, had taken in a deep breath and held it,
while it gathered up its strength to buck and heave
some more,” is an example of personification.
T
F
4.
The earthquake occurred in Saskatchewan in
1946.
T
F
5.
The post office was still standing undamaged
where it had stood for twenty-three years.
T
F
6.
Jack Hodgins grew-up in Central Butte, SK.
T
F
7.
“His piece of toast hopped of his lap and landed in
his plate,” contains alliteration.
T
F
8.
Fifteen minutes after the earthquake, Uncle
Neddie told the family that it had measured 7.3 on
the Richter scale.
T
F
9.
“The outside door of the living room was blocked
by the china cabinet, it’s contents of silver and
heirloom china clanging behind the glass,” is an
example of onomatopoeia.
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Lesson 6
T
F
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10.
Hodgins’ farm was located right at the epicentre of
the earthquake.
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Lesson 6
(2)
2.
How old was Jack Hodgins when she had his first experience with an
earthquake in B.C.?
(3)
3.
State three signs that indicated that an earthquake was approaching
the farm.
a.
b.
c.
(6)
4.
(State two examples of figures of speech contained in the narrative.
Refer to the definition of figurative language to help you. Figures of speech are
used to represent some object or activity by making it more vivid. Complete the
chart below with examples chosen from the narrative.
Examples of Figures of Speech
(4)
6.
Type
1.
personification
2.
simile
Write an example of sensory language for the sensory appeals in the
chart below. Remember that sensory language is used to create vivid
reading and listening experiences. The reader or listener can almost
taste, hear, see, sense, smell, and touch what is being experienced in
the story. Complete the chart below with examples taken from the
personal narrative, “The Earthquake.”
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Examples of Sensory Language
Sensory Appeal
1.
sight
2.
sound
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(5)
7.
This personal narrative is organized according to the order of events or
time. This is also called using a chronological pattern. Quote five
words that indicate this type of organization.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
(3)
8.
Narrate three things that happened in and around the farm during the
earthquake.
a.
b.
c.
(3)
9.
Describe three things that Jack observed after the earthquake ended.
a.
b.
c.
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Lesson 6
(4)
10.
Explain, in two or three sentences, why Jack’s brother did not leave
the kitchen table during the earthquake. Did he understand the
danger? Explain.
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Lesson 6
Creating Your Personal Narrative
Do you have a story to tell about an experience in the natural environment? In
Activity D you will have the opportunity to create your own personal narrative in a
written format.
Your experience may have been frightening, inspirational,
painful, or humorous. Usually we remember the disasters;
however, maybe you recall a time that added to your respect for
the natural environment for other reasons. Prepare for this
activity by using quick writing, a technique similar to
brainstorming. Questions or suggestions may spark your
thinking and your quick writing. Your ideas do not need to be
written in any order when you quick write.
When you have finished the quick write, you will have a variety of ideas to choose
from for creating your personal narrative. Here are some suggestions and questions
to get you started. You may have your own ideas on how to get started.

Remember that the natural environment includes birds, animals, plants,
weather, insects, fish, and much more.

Think of your experiences in nature.

What images come to mind when you consider the seasons?

Have you had memorable experiences with the weather, or with animals, or
by doing some activity in nature, such as canoeing, jogging, skiing, and so
on?
Quick Write
After you have completed the quick writing activity, consider which of these
experiences you want to tell. Which experience is particularly meaningful to you?
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Lesson 6
Activity D:
Writing a Personal Narrative
Narrative writing tells a story. Its purpose is
to interest and entertain the reader. It must
contain specific details so that the reader can
become involved in the action of the story.
Basic categories of narrative writing:

first-person narratives tell what happened
to the writer, or what the writer imagines
happened to him or her. First-person
uses “I,” “we,” and “me.”

third-person narratives relate events that
happened, or might have happened to
others. Third person uses “he,” “she,” “it,”
and “they.”
In this activity you are given opportunity to organize your ideas for the personal
narrative of your experience with nature. Your task is to write a narrative, at least
three paragraphs in length, that tells your reader(s) about your experience.
Instructions for Writing Your Narrative
1.
Use your own paper for prewriting, drafting, revising, and writing the final
version. Attach only the final version to this assignment upon
submission.
2.
Consider your purpose and your audience. Your purpose is to write an
entertaining narrative so that your audience will learn about your experience
with nature.
3.
When prewriting your narrative, consider the tone you want to use. The
narrative needs to be entertaining but it can have a serious or light-hearted
tone. Jack Hodgins chose a light-hearted tone for his story as nothing too
tragic happened to her family when the earthquake came.
4.
Choose a focus for your narrative. Hodgins focused on the earthquake – one
event.
5.
Do not write in general terms. Vague generalities in a narrative are boring.
Think about Hodgins’ story – he uses specific details.
6.
Use the first person point of view in your narrative. Make sure that is point of
view remains consistent throughout. “You” does not mean “I,” “we,” or “me.”
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Lesson 6
7.
Use action verbs to tell your story – e.g. rather than writing something like “My
mother came into the room” choose a verb that describes the action such as
“My mother burst into the room.”
8.
Tell your story in the past tense – e.g. He went rather than he goes.
9.
Use chronological order to arrange the events of your experience – e.g. first,
then, next.
10.
Use a variety of sentence structure and lengths in your narrative.
11.
Give your narrative a title. It should be imaginative and enticing to readers.
That is the function of a title – it should secure the attention of your reader(s)
and give a hint as to what your narrative will be about.
12.
Draft, proofread and edit, revise draft, and prepare a final copy of your
narrative that you will attach to this assignment upon submission.
Use the chart below to help you in the revision process.
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Lesson 6
Evaluation of Narrative
Your narrative will be evaluated according to the criteria in the following chart.
Narrative
(8 marks)
Teacher's Comments
Focus of narrative is clear
Specific details are used
Presentation
(10 marks)
Teacher's Comments
Imaginative title
Sentences are clear and
complete
Punctuation and spelling
are correct
Verb tense is consistent
Overall appearance of
narrative is pleasing
Tone of narrative is
consistent
First person point of view is
used
Action verbs are used
Variety of sentence
structures and lengths are
used
Chronological order used
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Lesson 6
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Lesson 6
Conclusion
There are many types of environments. We are surrounded by people, nature, land,
buildings, traditions, beliefs, and ideas. Each environment that we participate in
shapes us. We, too, impact on our environment.
Natural disasters are great tragedies. Ice storms, hurricanes, floods, and fires test
our physical strength as well as our faith. We learn, and we invent ways to help
protect ourselves, our families, and our communities. We also learn to live in
harmony with nature.
Sharing stories and personal experiences is one way to provide learning in a social
environment. Effective communication is valuable.
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Lesson 6
After you have worked through this lesson and completed the
assignment, are you able to answer the following questions? If
not, you may wish to review the concepts presented in Lesson
Six.
?
What type of organizational structure is used in the personal
narrative, “The Tornado?”
?
What is a shape poem?
?
What is alliteration?
?
What is onomatopoeia?
?
What is repetition?
?
What is personification?
?
What is a metaphor?
?
What is the difference between autobiography and biography?
?
What are the steps used to create a personal narrative?
?
Can you recognize the types of writing: narrative, expository, and
descriptive?
?
Do you understand the terms flashback and chronological order?
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Lesson 6