Grade 10 Media: Magazines

Hello parents and students,

I am very excited to introduce to you our very first unit of the year. For the next few weeks, our grade 10 English class will be looking at magazines to discover and understand their structure, style and characteristics. To begin, we will look at the “ingredients” and the things that go into creating a magazine. Students will have multiple opportunities to analyze and evaluate real examples of magazines in class to discuss the various components that make it up. We will study structure, language, layout and design. Then, our English class will team up with the computer technology class to apply these skills and concepts to design their very own magazine. Students will be placed in groups in which they will have to contribute various parts of their magazine such as: cover pages, contents page, articles, features, and other elements of magazines they choose to include.

It has already started off on a great foot and I’m excited to see the final projects when the students present their magazines to all of secondary in November.

I hope that you take the time to ask your students about the exciting things we are learning and doing with magazines.


Mr. Gonzalez


Grade 8 Media: Advertising

Hello parents and students,

We are starting our first unit of the year and I am very excited to say that it is a media unit on advertising! Throughout the next few weeks, we will be taking a look into the marketing world to understand how advertising agencies use language and other techniques to influence the consumer. We will begin by learning the history of advertising and compare it to how an ad is made in the modern day. We will then learn basic concepts such as brands, logos, slogans and other elements that are essential in an advertisement. We will spend the majority of our time analyzing examples of TV and print ads to understand the way they use language and other methods to persuade their target audience. For their final project, students will be placed in groups and, using their knowledge of advertising techniques, create their very own print and video advertisement.

It will be a fun and creative few weeks and I hope you take the time to ask your students about the exciting things we will learn and do with advertising.


Mr. Gonzalez

Grade 7 Non-fiction: Journalism

Hello parents and students,

We have started our first unit of the year and we are studying the non-fiction writing of journalism. Our goal for this unit is to learn the structure, style and characteristics of newspaper articles. To start this unit, we will first take a look at many example newspapers and articles to understand the purpose and language of journalism. We will also learn concepts such as inverted triangle, format/layout, headlines, captions, bias, and photojournalism. Students will also gain various skills such as writing for different audiences and purposes, writing to inform, and conducting research and interviews. For their final project, students will be placed in groups to create their very own newspapers containing their own written articles.

By the end of this unit, students will have recognized the importance and the art of telling stories, and the benefits of staying informed about the events happening all around them.

It is going to be a great few weeks and I hope you take the time to ask your student about the exciting things we are learning and doing with journalism.


Mr. Gonzalez

G6: Holes, an introduction

Dear Parents,

I am excited to share with you that Grade 6 is now starting their first unit of the year on Holes, a novel by Louis Sachar (author of the famous and hilarious Wayside Stories series).  Today, a student asked me why I chose to teach Holes; the answer is simple, everybody loves the book!  I’ve been teaching it for many years and I’ve never had a student dislike the book (even older students like it!).  No matter how many time I teach Holes, I find news things in it and I enjoy it all over again.  Parents, you should read along with your student, I bet that you’ll like it too!

Through the book we encounter memorable characters; Stanley is the protagonist and he is surrounded by characters with fun nicknames and personalities.  There is even a character named after me!  The story is fun to follow, it’s kind of like a puzzle– you need to pay close attention so that you can fill in the “holes” when the story comes together at the end.

For an overview on the unit you can click on this link:  Holes Overview.  In the overview you can see what we’re going to be learning (you can even give your student a quiz tonight and ask him/her what the 4 elements of a story are).  Additionally, we are still doing 10 minutes of grammar at the beginning of every lesson.

Now, Holes is the most fun to read if you don’t know what happens ahead of time.  Because of this, I made all students who have read the book or seen the movie take an oath not reveal any information to their classmates.  We don’t want them to ruin the fun for everyone else!

Tomorrow, we begin reading.  I can’t wait!


Ms. Barlow