Archive | August, 2015

Is ‘Titanic’ (the film) inspired by ‘Romeo & Juliet’?

27 Aug

As part of a unit on Romeo & Juliet my students will be required to locate, explore and analyse related material.  A recent discussion with a colleague prompted me to reflect upon contemporary films which reimagine the central ideas and relationships in Shakespeare’s play.

One film that immediately came to mind with Titanic.  Jack and Rose are, of course, “star cross’d” lovers in that they are divided by class and the disapproval of Rose’s family and peers.  The question I would pose to students is as follows:

Does the ending of Titanic (which deviates substantially from that of Shakespeare’s play) compromise the characterisation of that text as an appropriation of Romeo & Juliet?  Discuss.

The purpose of this question would be to facilitate deeper critical engagement with the two texts.


Friday Fictioneers #25

26 Aug

I thought I would get in early this week!  As per usual, the prompt for Friday Fictioneers can be found on Rochelle’s blog, and my story can be found below.

Buried prematurely

Sausage-shaped fingers wiggled impatiently in the air.

“Maisie,” I said, succumbing to the kindergartener’s enthusiasm.

“On my weekend,” she stated proudly, “I went to a nursing home for books.  When books get old, and their pages are crinkled, and their jackets are wrinkled or torn, the lib-rar-rians take the books off the shelves, and put them in big metal cupboards beneath the library to be safe…”

Maisie chattered.

My mind wandered.  Had I made the right decision putting my old, wrinkled, and crinkled and fading father into a nursing home?  Or, like the entombed books, had he been buried prematurely?

Friday Fictioneers #24

25 Aug

It is Friday Fictioneers time!  The photo prompt can be found on Rochelle’s blog and my contribution can be found below.

He reeled us in

The request arrived scrawled on faded lines and torn from a notebook: Let me rejuvenate your neighbourhood.

It was intoxicating in its simplicity.

He reeled us in with promises to create a moment of calm in the inner city chaos, to wash away the pervasive stench of despair.

We took the bait.

Months later a mural – in calming blues and greens, white water rippling – hugged the crumbling walls of an abandoned tenement.

Confronted daily by an unattainable serenity, residents took to scaling the mural’s face and, mere moments later, plunging into its depths – to their deaths – wailing.

Practical English skills

21 Aug

I am looking to run a unit for my Year 10 students in which they learn that their English skills have relevance in the real world.

At the moment, I am unsure what approach to take.  One option is to plan for a trip by analysing advertising images of a location, writing an itinerary, keeping a travel journal and perhaps even writing a letter to a hotel to seek information about valuables accidentally left behind.  Another option is to teach students about applying for jobs and allow them to craft resumes, write cover letters and hone their interviewing skills.

‘What is Love’

20 Aug

I found yet another possible related text to be used as part of a Romeo & Juliet unit.  This song is is entitled ‘What is Love’ and is from the hit television show Empire.  The song conveys the intensity of emotion seen in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, but also flags the complexities of emotion in circumstances where one person seems more committed than the other.

Romeo & Juliet time again!

19 Aug

It seems like just yesterday that I was madly collating Romeo & Juliet related resources for my Year 9 class.  As it turns out, it was about a year ago and thus it is now time to add to the collection of relevant related material.

I stumbled upon yet another Bassey Ikpi Spoken Word poem, this one is entitled ‘I Want to Kiss You‘.  I am hoping to be able to use it to illustrate the intensity and power of love, and to have students make connections between this text and the proclamations of the start-crossed lovers in Shakespeare’s play.