Thanks for adding more to your Flying Sharks story… and I hope you’ve realised that the reason for the ‘wordless stories’ is to encourage you to think of how description can improve your writing. 🙂

Here’s a wee heads up… can you be ready to give me an update on your personal project NEXT FRIDAY (10th June)… I’d like to know the following:

  1. What you are learning about
  2. What you’ve found out so far (Don’t panic, I don’t need any great detail!)
  3. Where you are finding most of your information
  4. What you are working on so you can share your learning
  5. How well you’re getting on (and if there’s anything I can do to support you)

As I say, I don’t need great detail yet (though it’d be nice!), this is just so I can make a few notes for my own reference, and to check that you’re not leaving it to the last possible minute!



Interesting Learning

As promised, here are the details for the project.

You have chosen something YOU are interested in and want to learn about (BTW: I’ll be sharing with you a really effective strategy for finding out more very shortly).

You are to do something with your new knowledge that you can share with me/the class/the world.

The ‘rules’ are pretty simple:

  1. You must be able to provide sources for all your references/facts/information;
  2. Er, that’s about it, really;
  3. If in doubt, refer to rule 1.

As I have tried to make clear, you are free to share what you have learned in any way you choose: essay, poetry, a story, a modern dance, a song, an album, a film, a documentary, a crochet blanket (much faster than knitting!), cake(s)or anythingelse that allows you , to show off some skills that you have that I would be unlikely to know about otherwise…

The Serious Bit: From my point-of-view, and for assessment purposes, you need to be able to explain the decisions you have made/choices you have made. Er, that’s about it… though don’t forget Rule 1 above!

DEADLINE: The intention is that you should be ready to share in the last week of term (w/c: 27/6/16)

As inspiration, here are some bits and pieces that previous classes have created…


Audio Homework

Foley GrabI’ll check your foley answers over the weekend, but in the meantime, you are expected to have some fun if you get the chance. If you are allowed, and are able to, get yourself a copy of AUDACITY (and yes, it is 100% free), and start playing with the basics of sound editing.

What I showed you in class was basic recording, copying/pasting, and a few effects (reverse, echo, change pitch). Your best bet is to genuinely just play with the software… and I highly recommend using earphones to prevent excess noise.

A few things to try:

  • Alvin & the Chipmunks – Record something, then use: Effect => Change Pitch => (UP) Semitones (half-steps): 12.00
  • Scary Monster Voice, use: Effect => Change Pitch => (DOWN) Semitones (half-steps): 8.00
  • Speaking in tongues, use: Effect => Reverse
  • Making it louder, use: Effect => Amplify
  • Try to add a second (or 3rd/4th/5th… etc) track…: Tracks=> Add New => Audio Track (This is how you can create harmony vocal tracks)
  • Import a music track/song (you should be able to drag and drop songs from iTunes/Windows Media Player straight into Audacity… but it won’t allow you to import any tracks with copy protection), then play about with it. 😉

Above all, PLAY! Have fun… this is how you can find out what the software can do so that you are better able to use it for your English work.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment on this post. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 🙂

And here’s the Foley Video the questions were based on:


Hi class!

Well done on finding the blog. I’ll keep this updated fairly regularly (at least once a week) with details on the work we’re doing in class, and also homework and deadlines. I can also use this to share resources (like handouts) so you can find them when you need them. 🙂


Anyway, to kick us off, and to help you with your ‘sound stories’, here are some links that may help you find sounds or software to help you…


AUDACITY: (LINK) Free sound editing software. Don’t be fooled by the look of it. This is a very clever bit of software that allows you to create awesome sound files and landscapes… and best of all, it’s free and runs on just about every platform (Mac/PC/Linux)

Sound Bible

Sound Bible is great for one thing: Sound effects. Lots and lots of lovely sound effects which are free to use (and see my earlier post on the use of foley sound to appreciate how important these are).

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 09.03.20



(Click for a great intro!)

Honestly! There are loads of great found effects to be found on the Tube of Youness… and also some great videos on how to create your own (Hint: Search for the word FOLEY or SFX)

Now go, create, record, and think!


Talk Topics

Just clearing out the cobwebs here… far too long since I used this blog. 😉

TASK: You are to prepare a fact based talk of between 2 and 5 minutes. You can choose the topic, and also the approach you take, but everyone must complete the task. In case you cannot think of a topic by yourself, here are the four I suggested in class… and also some possible approaches. Please feel free to use one if you cannot think of your own!


Homelessness: This is a natural extension of The Garbage King. How you approach it is up to you. Do you want to talk about reasons people become homeless — is it ever a choice? Perhaps you think we doo too much to help homeless people… or not enough… in fact, just what DO we do to help them? Maybe it is an age thing? Should society only help young homeless people?

The dog ate my homework… I had to force him, but he ate it!

Homework: Did you know that is some countries homework is banned? Or that some people think it actually harms learners rather than helping them? Or that it is your parents who ask schools to give more homework more than anyone else? What do you think of it? 😉

Scotland and the EU: Topical and in the news… so easy to find out things. But what do you think? Is Scotland better in the EU and the UK. Better in the EU and out of the UK? Better in the UK but out of the EU? Or some other permutation?

Media Representation of Women or Men: Do the media present people fairly or do they give us the wrong impression of men and women? Should people who make music videos be more responsible? Do you want to be like Beyoncé, Meghan Trainor or Katy Perry when you got up… and the same question for the girls! 😉

I’ll post the rules later, but in the meantime, make sure you have a topic selected and start researching.

Project Task

The task is:

Do you agree with keeping animals in captivity?

You may:

  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Feel a mixture of agreement and/or disagreement

No matter your point of view, you must try to back it up with reliable evidence. In this case, that means evidence from a scientist or specialist on looking after animals, or someone like David Attenborough. It does not mean your Auntie or Grandad (unless, of course, your Auntie or Grandad is a scientist or specialist on looking after animals, or like David Attenborough).

Your assignment needs to be done for the last week of term… any day of the last week is fine. You can submit:

  • an essay
  • an opera
  • a film
  • a powerpoint
  • a talk
  • a poster
  • a piece of modern dance
  • a collection of poems…

In other words, feel free to use your imagination and skills to knock my socks off… 🙂

This is to be a serious piece of work as far as the science or argument goes, but I insist you have fun doing it, and that you are proud of what you achieve!

Here’s the What is Beauty? video that a previous S2 pupil created to inspire you:

PS: While I try to check all the comments on the YouTube video, there may be some inappropriate language which I have missed. It is rare, but it does happen. 😦

Blackfish – Post Viewing

pdf-icon-1And here’s the updated version of the handout (in full colour)! Remember, you are investigating why the people referred to in the film are included. Why did there film makers choose to speak to the person… what special knowledge does he or she have.

You can ask for help using the “Leave a Comment” button at the bottom of the post. Remember, if you aren’t sure of something the chances are others in the class will also be unsure. 😉

Click the PDF icon to download the file.

Blackfish Post Viewing