Did I grow?

During my pre-internship, I found that I did not do as much growing as I had hoped in terms of my lessons. I was given the opportunity to teach something I am particularly passionate about; horror. My cooperating teacher often had very little to say about my lessons, because they all went well. I had an amazing group of students who let me experiment with them and genuinely tried when I gave them work to do. Because my students were so receptive to my teaching, I challenged them to work with a difficult literary theory and move away from comprehension type activities.

My first lesson was a bit of everything. I had a ‘Drop Everything and Write’ acrostic poem making activity. I noted that students were unfamiliar with creative writing and that had me continue with that activity all the way through my pre-internship. After writing, I had a student come up to the board to help me design a vampire concept map. I used this activity, because I worked well with my grade eight class. However, grade tens are more shy and less inclined to stand in front of the room. I made a point of never doing that again. Through my concept mapping, I noted that the class liked to have group talks rather than individual work. I planned activities that incorporated both into their learning. The end of the class was a reader’s theatre style reading of Dracula. My cooperating teacher had told me that the students would enjoy this style of reading. She was helpful in making my initial lessons plans a success, because she gave me an insight into what worked in her class and what did not. Because of this, I did not have target sheets made up, but just the odd verbal feedback provided. My main critique over the three weeks was about sequencing. However, I cannot document this change just yet. I need to take my horror unit and rework it, and teach it once more.

My growth lesson would be my transition into harder content. Deconstruction is a difficult literary theory that requires a careful mind and a close reading of a text. Thanks to my cooperating teacher’s encouragement, I felt that I was ready to tackle this with my students. After a lesson that warmed us up to the idea, we deconstructed movie clips from popular vampire shows. The students watched each clip twice and then tried to decipher what that minute long clip meant in an intended way and an unintended way. The students focused hard during this lesson and the results were great. Overall, my pre-internship was successful and I am excited to try my horror unit once more.


Dracula Theme Worksheet

Dracula Theme Worksheet

Name: _____________ Partner Name: _____________                            ELA A10/Ms. Fisher

Directions: Listed below are common themes in stories. Circle the top three themes that you think relate to Dracula.

Faith                                                       Violence

Family                                                    Friendship

Death                                                      Immortality

Hope                                                       Knowledge

Love                                                        Oppression

Identity                                                   Sanity

Trust                                                       Loyalty

Desire                                                      Fear

Power                                                      Survival

Directions: Fill in each box below. Write three quotations or lines from the story that back up and support your chosen theme. Please provide quotations for each theme.

Theme One: __________

Quotation #1                                                                 Page Number: __________



Quotation #2                                                                 Page Number: __________



Quotation #3                                                                 Page Number: __________


Theme Two: __________

Quotation #1                                                                 Page Number: __________



Quotation #2                                                                 Page Number: __________



Quotation #3                                                                 Page Number: __________




Theme Three: ___________

Quotation #1                                                                 Page Number: __________



Quotation #2                                                                 Page Number: __________



Quotation #3                                                                 Page Number: __________





Directions: Explain how these three themes relate to Dracula in a paragraph. Make reference to the quotations you selected in your answer. Write on the back if you need more space.


Directions: Now that you have looked at theme, start thinking about a meaning statement. Find your green deconstruction handout. Answer part three of that hand out (Reconsider a reading). Please hand both booklets in when you are finished.

Deconstructing Film

Lesson Plan – Carol Fisher

Period 4: 1:09 PM – 2:12 PM (63 minutes)

Subject: ELA A10

Topic: Deconstructing Vampire Films and Television Shows

Content: D.E.A.W., Film Deconstruction, Exit Slip

Teaching Strategy: Write alongside the students, using media

Outcomes: CR A10.2

View, interpret, summarize, and draw conclusions about the ideas and information presented in a variety of illustrations, charts, graphs, and television, film, and video presentations including a documentary or current affairs program.


–          SWBAT: Demonstrate active viewing behaviours

–          SWBAT: Prepare and present a critical response to what was viewed

–          SWBAT: View and discuss the meaning and characterization implicit in the action of a scene from a play, film, television production

–          SWBAT: Write using a song as an inspiration point

Multiple Intelligences:

–          Visual-spatial

–          Musical

–          Intrapersonal

Prerequisite: Knowledge of various vampire based shows and films.

Lesson Preparation:

–          Film Sheet

–          Computer

–          Projector

–          Sound

–          Video Links


Set: Students will be able to write for at least five minutes. They will be able to use the song for inspiration and write whatever it draws from their mind.

Development: Students will actively view the clips and deconstruct the content. Students will volunteer or provide answers during the discussion. I will take in the viewing sheets to see what each student got out of their deconstruction.

Closure: I will use the answers to the exit slip to get a grasp of what students are taking from my lessons. Are they starting to see that fantasy/horror genre works can teach us things?


Set: (estimated time 10/60 minutes) (10)

–          Song Writing Prompt:

  • o   Spiritual – Katy Perry (From The Vampire Academy Soundtrack)
  • o   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5TBqaMkBpQ
  • o   Students will be asked to write underneath their last writing. They may write in any form: point form, journal, poem, story, or picture if they cannot formulate any words while listening.
  • o   Students can write while the song is playing or write after it is done.
  • o   The writing topic is up to them.
  • o   They must date and sign it and hand it in when they finish.

–          Take up deconstruction Sheet

Development: (estimated time **50/60 minutes) (40)

–          Hand out film viewing sheets

–          Discussion of findings:

  • I will cold call or have volunteers share their answers for each clip.
  • I will be looking for meaning statements and the differences between them.

–          Hand in film viewing sheet

Closure:  (estimated time 60/60 minutes) (10)

–          Exit slip:

  • o   How has film altered the vampire tradition?
  • o   Do vampire/horror stories teach us lessons?
  • o   What is your favorite vampire story/film/TV show? Why?

–          If there is time left:

  • o   Student will get a choice; we can start reading Act 2 out loud or they can work on their independent novel studies.

Adaptive Dimension:

–          Film

–          View things twice

–          Take up in class

Vampire Scene Viewing Sheet

Vampire Scene Viewing Sheet


Name:_____________                                                                                   Ms. Fisher/ELA A10

We will view each clip twice. The first time, just watch and don’t write anything. The second time, observe the scene and deconstruct the meaning it presents. Make sure to write down observations so you can come back to the meaning statements later if need be.

Twilight (2008)

Bella is attacked in a parking lot and Edward comes to her rescue.

Observations about scene:

Intended Meaning:

Unintended Meaning:

I Am Count Dracula (2004)

Van Helsing has a history with Dracula.

Observations about scene:

Intended Meaning:

Unintended Meaning:


The Vampire Diaries (2009)

She must have immortality to gain a better life.

Observations about scene:

Intended Meaning:

Unintended Meaning:

Interview with a Vampire (1994)

The shunned Vampire returns for vengeance.

Observations about scene:

Intended Meaning:

Unintended Meaning:

Dark Shadows (2012)

The vampire secret is out. He is a murder, but also a Collins.

Observations about scene:

Intended Meaning:

Unintended Meaning:


Blood+ (2005)

She is different, but she is loved.

Observations about scene:

Intended Meaning:

Unintended Meaning:

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

She is coming of age and wants to go out into the world.

Observations about scene:

Intended Meaning:

Unintended Meaning:

The Serial Killer Intern?

The first week is complete and I have no idea how I made through. Everything is starting to blur together and my mind is constantly working towards the future. “What am I doing to do with this class tomorrow?” Although things have been stressful, I love every minute of it! I’ve somehow developed a nickname “The Serial Killer Intern.” I haven’t even started talking about cannibalism yet!

The first three days of this week were phenomenal. It was awesome to see my lesson plans come together and even start to mesh. I took on the challenge of doing Dracula the three act play with my ELA A10 class. I know that this would be a great topic, because I have a love for dark and gory literature. My largest accomplishment this week was having everyone’s names by day two. I was really making a point of calling on students for answers and familiarizing myself with their faces. My first day, I introduced Reader’s Theatre into the classroom. We ended up having enough volunteers to read out loud. Everyone was engaged because I gave them an anticipation guide to fill out. This sort of comprehension organizers have been a helpful tool.

Today was a bit like pulling teeth. I chose to teach a rather difficult and dry concept to my grade tens (Deconstruction). They did understand it very well, but trying to get answers without cold-calling was a task. We were talking up my Vampire film viewing sheet today. I should have just selected a few to take up together and got them to hand it in. The students found it a bit boring when they were unfamiliar with the entire movie.

My lessons were changing all the time. My cooperating teacher provided excellent feedback on them and really helped me get a strong direction for the week. I was definitely over planned for every day. However, that meant that my lesson would splash into the next day and things started to seem connected. My film viewing day was one I might change up a bit. I might use longer clips and fewer movies. At this time, I would probably give the students a better idea of what to look for and write it up on the board. When I asked for it in discussion they had it, but they did not have it written down beforehand.

I learned that teaching is about connecting. These lesson plans we are making should not just be isolated events. Everything needs a purpose and an end point. Another thing I realized was that I need to make time for myself. This week, I didn’t go jogging at all and spent most nights answering journal entries and marking small assignments. It is starting to drive me crazy. Honestly, I am going to spend my night playing video games and not even look at a journal entry. Time really speeds up when you are in a school. I don’t even feel like I spent a week teaching.