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…


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.

Your Mission

The Task: You are going to investigate the question “What is beauty?”

What you need to know: You are free to define beauty in any way you wish. It can be physical beauty, or (please pardon the phrase) “inner beauty”. You can talk about people, or you can talk about objects or places or maths calculations or nature. In short, you have a completely free and open choice for the subject matter you choose.

What you need to do: No matter what you choose to investigate, you must use and acknowledge appropriate source material. No sources, no marks… Simples!

You can present your findings in any way you choose. This might be an essay, a PowerPoint presentation, a video, a song, an annotated painting, a website… in other words, in any way you think will best help you demonstrate an answer or point-of-view on the question, What is beauty?

What you need to think about: There are several obvious sources where you will find information about what “beauty” is. I’d start with Wikipedia and any other easily accessible sources such as dictionaries or encyclopaedias. Start by finding out what others have called beautiful. You may agree with their definitions, or you may disagree… But be prepared to support or argue your own point-of-view either way.

What you can do to develop your ideas: You are encouraged to think beyond the obvious. If you decide to look at people who are considered “beautiful”, have you considered how much our perceptions can be and are manipulated by someone using Photoshop? If you choose to talk about art that is “beautiful” have you considered the cultural background and baggage that we bring to how we look at something beautiful?

Consider how much of what we consider beautiful is because of peer pressure, or accepted points-of-view… be strong, and consider that if we all had exactly the same opinions, then we would all be trying to go out with the same person.

Consider the lists you created in class. When you wrote down the names of 5 people and 5 places that you considered “beautiful” and the same again for people and places you considered “ugly”, you were basing your decisions on a set of criteria that you had chosen. How well can you explain or defend these decisions?

Finally: Is there any value in considering the impact the “beauty” has on the person experiencing or enjoying it. Is it a truly personal response according to a set of rules that cannot be shared… or are there some truly beautiful people or objects or places that we can all agree on? And the obvious extension of this is can we ever separate the physical from the essence of that we call beautiful — how do we reconcile a physically beautiful person with an ugly personality?

Starting Points

To get you started, here are the slides I used in class, and also some links to the YouTube video(s) I referred to. Please use the comments to ask questions and to get some discussion going. This is an interesting topic, and you do all have something to contribute… So get busy!

My Slides

Dove Evolution

Related Video(s)

DUE DATE: You are expected to hand in your project on Friday 28th October. You are welcome and encouraged to submit early drafts or ideas during the October break using http://Dropitto.me/nwinton (I’ll remind you of the password if you ask me!). And as a last point to consider: you are welcome to include photographs and/or drawings or media in your submitted work… In fact, given the nature of the task, I think you have no choice but to do so… in this case, DO NOT FORGET TO GIVE THE SOURCE OF ANY IMAGES OR MEDIA YOU USE!

THE PRACTICAL STUFF: It is up to you to decide on the format you choose, so it will be up to you to decide on what you include in the final ‘product’. As a general guide, you will need to have some sort of discussion or explanation of what others consider beauty to mean, and then you will need to give YOUR point of view on what you think beauty is.

I am more than happy to give you advice or tips and suggestions, so don’t leave it till the last minute! Think through what you will need to make your project happen, and devise a good plan… Otherwise you may never finish it!

Finally, set your own goals! How will you decide that you have been successful?

Glog CSI

Hi class.

Sorry I wasn’t there today, but I hope you managed to make a start on our investigations. Here’s a quick recap of what you should know now…

The ‘grid’ I posted yesterday is a QR Code. It should have taken you to the Glog where you can find most of the info you will need to get you started with your investigation.

Here it is for you to look at… remember, there are some media clips embedded in it that you may not have seen yet! (And there’s more to read below the image, so keep scrolling down!)

The Original is here: http://nwinton.glogster.com/cfe-time-detectives

You are tasked with finding out as much as you can about the various snippets on the poster… and then, you are going to try and put together some sort of common link between some or most or all of them.
(I feel I should give a mad ‘Bwahahahaaaa’ at that, but I suspect you’ll manage this bit no problems!)

The librarians had instructions to only answer direct questions from you, and they weren’t allowed to give you any answers that you didn’t ask for… so I don’t yet know what you know… This means I’m not giving away any more at the moment until we’ve compared notes… so… have some HOMEWORK (sorry!).


For next time you’re in English, be ready to report back to me and/or the class all the information you’ve managed to find out so far. WARNING: You’d better have a note of your sources, or you can’t use the information! (But then, you knew that, didn’t you!)

If you have any questions about this, you can post a comment to the blog and I’ll get back to you asap!

Good luck!