Who Framed Roger Rabbit? due by midnight Sunday, May 5th

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

In a strong & academic response, please answer one (1) of the following:


1. In what ways has the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? added to your understanding of what Fantasy is?

2. In regards to this class (in general), what ways has Fantasy changed your way of thinking?  Provide evidence to support your answer.

3. Graphic Novel: How has our time with professional graphic novelist Lisa Eisenberg helped you develop your understanding of story-telling? Or how has Lisa Eisenberg help you to develop your writing skills?

4. How does one read and write effectively?

5. Is society prejudiced against Fantasy?

6.  Think about your current Fantasy novel: how does the author enable you, the reader, to enter the fantasy world?  Are there realistic elements?  Discuss some of these and how they affect the story.

7. Regarding your current Fantasy novel, what character traits does the main character have that you see in yourself?



I am looking forward to reading your responses!




The Neverending Story: How It Adds to Our Understanding of Fantasy

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

never end  In a strong & academic response, answer the prompt below.

  • Remember: a strong & academic writing follows the five-paragraph format/structure (introduction w/ thesis, body paragraphs, and conclusion).  Make sure you have organized your thoughts appropriately in order to help with coherence and unity.  In addition, check for sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and transitions.


PROMPT: In what ways does the film The Neverending Story (1984) match up with our understanding of Fantasy? In addition, in what ways has the film added to your understanding of what Fantasy is (i.e. what elements of fantasy have been added as a result of our viewing of this film)?



Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Task: Strong & Academic Response: Before returning to school after Spring Break, please choose one (1) of the following prompts to answer in a strong and academic response.  


1. A number of characters in A Dirty Job are primarily comic, most notably the Hellhounds, Alvin and Mohammed, and Sophie’s babysitters, Mrs. Korjev and Mrs. Ling. Why might the author have chosen to incorporate so much humor into a novel about the business of death?

2. For those of you familiar with Collin’s The Hunger Games (2009), is the The Hunger Games a rip-off of Battle Royale?  If so, does it matter?  Read information from this website to help you answer this interesting question(s). hunger

3. What factors define a person’s identity in The Hobbit? Do individuals have any power over who they become, or are their characters entirely determined by static factors such as family and race?

      4. How does The Hobbit reflect on society?


5. What social concerns/themes are present in Stephen King’s The Gunslinger?gunslinger-born

6. Describe the ways in which the samSilmarillian can be seen as a new creation myth.

7. Two of the main plot devicestime travel and book jumpingillustrate the infinite possibilities of alternate endings. If you could travel through time, is there anything in history, either in the broad sense or in your own personal history, that you would go back and revise?

8. Violence as entertainment plays a large part in The Hunger Games, and the novel itself is both violent and entertaining. What shocked you most about the book? What important points do you think the author makes about violence and its effects on society? violence in the media? violence and children?

9. What is the strongest parallel you see between the events of the novel you are currently reading and our society or history? In addition, do you find any comparisons to events that have been part of your own life?


Overcoming the Stigma of Fluff Blog Response: Due by 11:59 pm 2/28

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

After reading Melissa Thomas’ article Teaching Fantasy: Overcoming the Stigma of Fluff, please answer one (1) of the following in a strong & academic response.

1. How and Why should fantasy be brought into the classroom in a meaningful way?  Provide textual evidence from the article as well as personal experience(s) & opinion(s) to help answer the question fully.  In addition, make mention of your current novel in your answer.

2. What critical topics are addressed in fantasy that make it a worthwhile genre to utilize in the high school classroom?  In your answer, connect your current novel to your answer.


Educational Value of Fantasy? Writing due by 11: 59 pm Monday the 18th

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

To many, reading fantasy is what kids do outside of class and on their own time.  I have encountered many who have told me that reading fantasy was not as valuable as Shakespeare or Hemingway.  I do not share their opinions; in fact, I see a great deal of educational value in using fantasy to help students develop their academic skills in areas, such as reading, writing, and critical thinking.  But I am giving away too much.  This is not about me or my likes or dislikes.  I want to hear from you.

Your Challenge: In a strong & academic writing, answer one (1) of the prompts below.  You have chosen this class because of your interests in the worlds of fantasy, and it is my job to provide various opportunities for you to strengthen your academic skills that are requisite in higher education as well as in the workforce.  It really is a “dog-eat-dog world” and I want to help you be a more competitive candidate by being more independent and by thinking more critically.

Note: With any academic writing, it is imperative that you provide your reasoning as well as examples from films, short stories, readings, discussions, etc.  Always back up what you say/write.


1. What does Fantasy teach us?


2. Why do people read fantasy and more importantly, why should fantasy be used in educational settings?


3. What exactly makes fantasy fantasy?  

Fantasy Assignment #1: Due by 11:59 pm. Monday, February 11th

Friday, February 8th, 2013

TASK ONE: please post a response to one (1) of the following prompts.  In your response, please make sure to include personal experience, textual, and film support (reasoning) for your ideas. You may need to do a bit of internet research ( for example: Spanish Civil War;Pan’s Labyrinth: About the StoryFascismSpanish Civil War Videos; Guenica).  NOTE: Here are two (2) movie review that I believe with help you address the prompts: Pan’s Labyrinth reviewed by Enrique Ajuria IbarraReview by Paul Julian Smith (from Film Quarterly, Summer 2007, Vol. 60 no. 4).

Ofelia is using Fantasy to help her escape (unbeknownst to her, yes) a foreign, dominant new father, a new home, and her mother’s illness.  In addition, the story is set during the time of the Spanish Civil War – Ofelia uses Fantasy unintentionally to escape from the life of War.  Think about your own experiences when you had to “escape” from a difficult situation – a time of personal tragedy (maybe).  In addition, think about how children have to live through horrible times of war – men, women, and children living through (and dying in) times of constant death (for example: the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia; the Holocaust; Darfur; Iraqi Kurds Gassing by Saddam Hussein; Armenian Genocide pre-WWI; Rwanda Genocide; unfortunately etc..).

I understand that this is not a Political Science class, Human Geography class, or a History class, but the theme of whether Escapism is Essential (using Fantasy to cope..) we are exploring with Pan’s Labyrinth can connected to societal and global issues.  The overall question is whether escapism is essential in society.  Another question we are exploring (perhaps indirectly) is how fantasy presents/reflects on issues (political, societal, religious, personal).

Man’s Inhumanity to Man:  The Khmer Rouge in Cambodiathe Holocaust.


1. How essential is Escapism in Society?

2. Can Fantasy Rescue Us from Trauma?

3. Can Fantasy Be a Form of Protest?

4. “No One Is Coming To Your Rescue.  And That Is a Good Thing”.  Should a Person Abandon His/Her Rescue Fantasy?

5. What did El Capitan mean when he stated his ideological premise of a “clean, new Spain”? What does this remind you of?

6. What insight does the film have regarding gender and expectations?

Total Recall: Academic Responses and Responses to Peers Postings

Friday, January 18th, 2013

ITotal_Recall_1990,_Arnold_Schwarzenegger_Sharon_Stonen order to answer the following questions, please watch the film Total Recall (1990) and also read Recalling the Self: Personal Identity in Total Recall (Biderman, 2008).  The chapter was provided to students in class.

Directions: Read the following questions and choose one (1) and then write a strong & academic response.  In your response, please provide textual evidence to support your ideas.  In addition, it is highly recommended that students make connections to previous readings, films, class discussions, etc.


  1. What are the criteria of personhood?
  2. Who am I? What constitutes a self?
  3. What makes me me? How does my personhood, or account of a self, affect how I live my life?
  4. Student-created Prompt: You are who you are no matter what vs. you are your actions and your memories. Which of these is true, in your opinion?


Task One: Strong & Academic Response due: 11:59 Friday

Task Two: Read classmates responses.  Choose two (2) to respond to.  Each response must be at least 50 words (remember to provide critical feedback).

BladeRunner & Dark City: What Is It To Be Human?

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013


Task One: In a strong and academic writing, respond to one (1) of the following prompts.  Please use textual evidence from the reading to support your answer.  In addition, make connections to previous texts (novels, short stories, etc).

1. What is it to be human?

2. What roles do emotions and memories play in human life and identity?

3. What is the relationship between the Mind and the Body?

4. How central is memory in establishing human identity?

5. What is the soul?

6. How do instincts affect our thoughts?

7.  What is the educational value of examining Bladerunner and Dark City in a Senior English class that focuses on Science Fiction & Fantasy?


Task Two: Read your classmates’ posts. Choose two (2) that stand out and write a strong response to each.


I look forward to reading your responses.


the Re-Imagining of Alice in Wonderland: Two (2) Tasks

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

 Re-Imagining Alice

*Complete both Task One and Task Two*

     alice_in_wonderland             Alice-in-Wonderland-Cheshire-Cat-Mena

TASK ONE: In class, students worked in small groups to create a storyboard for Disney’s classic Alice in Wonderland (1951). When finished, students then identified four (4) segments of the story.  Groups identified the following:

Segment 1

  • Beginning to the Walrus +Caterpillar
  • Beginning to the Door
  • Beginning to through the Door
  • Beginning to the Descent

Segment 2

  • Rabbit’s house —————> caterpillar/mushroom of doom
  • through the door to when Alice enters the Queen’s kingdom
  • through the door up til Alice arrives at Rabbit’s house
  • Rabbit’s house to through to the Cat

Segment 3

  • Tea party to right before crocket
  • meeting with the Cat to meeting with the Cat again
  • meeting the Queen to the end of the trial
  • Rabbit’s house to the 2nd meeting with the Cat

Segment 4

  • Crocket to the End
  • Maze to the End
  • Running to the End
  • Shortcut to the End

Directions: Decide on a segment (see above) of the film.  In a strong writing, re-imagine this segment through the lens of one (1) of the following below.  Your Creative Narrative or Pitch needs to be completed by 11:59 pm Thursday, December 6th. There is not a length requirement.  What is expected of you is to include all the information needed to have a complete story/idea.  What makes sense to you does not mean it will make sense to other.  Make sure to include all the who’s, what’s, when’s where’s, why’, and how’s.

scary alice

                                                            Science Fiction 

Fantasy  hatta


Note: This need not be a creative writing.  If you do not wish to simply re-tell the story through the eyes of SF/F/or H, then pitch an idea to the class.  If you are interested in writing the perfect pitch, click on Pitching for Success. *Perhaps your pitch will be selected by the class to be included in the class’ Re-Imagination of Alice in Wonderland.

TASK TWO: Read your Classmates’ narratives/pitches and Choose Two (2) that stand out to you.  Respond to each with appropriate critical feedback (what you liked, what needs to be expanded on, what your suggestions are, how to have a stronger story/pitch, etc.).


Extra Credit Opportunity over Thanksgiving Break

Friday, November 16th, 2012


Discussion Questions: Choose one (1) of the following questions/prompts to write a strong, academic response to. When providing your responses, make sure you provide proper evidence from the novel as well as other resources to support your claims.  


1. Think about the female characters. What do you know about them?  Then compare Safie with all of the other female characters.  How does Mary Shelley portray most of her female characters?  And how does that compare with how she portrays Safie?  Use textual evidence from the novel to support your answer.


2. Is wisdom/knowledge/fame always a good thing? Can it go too far?  Use textual evidence from the novel to support your answer.


3. Most students come to this book with a fair amount of background knowledge, but misconceptions exist relating the identity of “Frankenstein”? Who is the real monster in this story?  Is he the doctor? Is he the monster? Does the monster have bolts in his neck? Is the monster inherently ugly or ugly by nature of his creation?  Use textual evidence from the novel to support your answer.


4. What did Victor’s creation truly want?  And how does this affect his actions/emotions?  Big Questions: In what ways is this similar to the experiences of you (i.e. high school students)?  Use textual evidence from the novel to support your answer.


5. How do the philosophies of Jacques Rousseau and John Locke play a role in Mary Shelley’s story?