Tag Archive for world lit

Online Learning of A Doll’s House, Day 12

Goals for the Week:

  1. Write a response to a prompt analyzing A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen.
  2. Continue to collaborate with teachers and classmates.
  3. Finalize all work on A Doll’s House and our Feminism unit and prepare for our next learning experience!

Today’s Checklist:

  1. Check out this advice from Princeton University on wholesome masculinity
  2. Read this article from Christian Lopez on Medium about What Non-Toxic Masculinity Looks Like
  3. Consider our own opinions on what makes something wholesome-masculine versus toxic-masculine.

Today’s Lesson!


  • ELAGSE9-10RI3 Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.

Learning Target: 

I can analyze how an author explains toxic masculinity by reading articles and memes, so that I can express my own feelings on what makes masculinity toxic vs. wholesome.


Check out this super wholesome comic of an imagined interaction between Mr. Rogers and Thor. Click the panel below to read the whole thing 🙂

Mr Rogers and Thor

Work Session: 

Your assignment for this week!

This week is your largest assignment to date! Each day we will explore a different topic related to feminism and A Doll’s House. I have made a Google Doc with 5 prompts, one for each day this week. CHOOSE ONE PROMPT and write a paragraph in response to it.

Type your response in this document!

Remember, you only need to respond to ONE prompt this week!

Today’s Topic: Toxic Masculinity

This article discusses how the toxic stereotypes are perpetuated, even in 2020. This quote sums it up:

How do men learn the rules? Starting from childhood, boys and men are often called out for behavior that doesn’t match society’s definition of manhood. It might take the form of name calling (“sissy,” “punk,” “wuss”), being told that they’re gay or “throw like a girl,” or aggression against them such as hitting, bullying, or even sexual assault.

This forces men to make a choice. Either:

  1. Go along with stereotypical male roles, even if they personally don’t agree with them; or
  2. Push back against the rules and feel like they’re “going against the grain.”

Have you ever witnessed this happening? A boy cries and is told he’s not “manly” enough, or a boy decides he’d rather paint than play football, and he’s shunned because of it?

Lopez discusses masculinity from an emotional standpoint, explaining that the shaming of men for expressing particular emotions (sadness, loneliness, etc) is what really creates toxic masculinity. He says that men should be allowed to express whatever emotion they feel, but that in our culture, very often the only “acceptable” emotion for men is anger. Do you agree or disagree with this?

  • Consider our own opinions on what makes something wholesome-masculine versus toxic-masculine.

Closing Session: 

We’re going back to the memes for our closer today! Check out this one:

Wholesome Masculinity

Take a minute to consider these nontoxic, yet very masculine qualities, like being honorable, dependable, or honest. Then, because we all need de-stress a little, go watch Bob Ross paint something on YouTube 🙂

Looking Ahead: Tomorrow’s Checklist

If you want to get ahead on things, here is what we’re going to be doing tomorrow!

  1. Check out this flowchart that determines if it’s mansplaining or not
  2. Look over this 2008 essay by Rebecca Solnit, “Men Explain Things To Me”
  3. Read through this gif-heavy list of 6 Subtle Forms of Mansplaining from Bustle

Online Learning of A Doll’s House, Day 6

Welcome to week 2!! You did it, you successfully completed your first week of online learning!!!

Goals for the Week:

  1. Finish reading and analysis of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen.
  2. Understand why A Doll’s House is considered feminist, and how it remains relevant today.
  3. Collaborate with your teacher or classmates to discuss the play.

Today’s Checklist:

  1. Watch the round table discussion on A Doll’s House.
    • Comment on YouTube with your input!
  2. Learn about the “I need feminism because…” project
  3. Make your own “I need feminism because” photo

Today’s Lesson!

Standard: ELAGSE9-10SL1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions(one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Learning Target: I can watch a round table discussion and participate by commenting on the video, so that I can be prepared to collaborate virtually with my classmates and/or teacher.


For our opening session today, I’d like to introduce this week’s assignment with a little story. Several years ago, a group of students walked around on Cambridge University’s campus, in England, holding a whiteboard and asking students to complete the sentence “I need feminism because…”. Responses ranged from “I need feminism because women only make 79 cents on the dollar” to “I need feminism because my granny is AWESOME,” to much more serious topics.

In our World Lit classes, we’ve taken the same challenge – twice! Check out the videos below:

Work Session: 

Check out this round table discussion between the World Literature teachers!

Here are the questions we’re discussing today. After watching the video, it would be awesome if you could comment on it (either on YouTube or here on the blog) and give your opinion on one of these! Remember, our goal this week is for some collaboration, so consider replying to your classmates’ comments! The more discussion, the better!

Round table discussion questions:

  1. A Doll’s House is considered a work of feminist literature. Do you agree or disagree with this and why?
  2. At this point in the play, we’ve seen Nora grow from childish and silly to anxious and fearful. Does Nora’s growth seem realistic? Talk to me about how she’s changed so far (through the end of act II).
  3. Nora and Torvald’s relationship was normal for the time when the play was written. Do you think their dynamic is still “normal” today? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Talk generally about the power dynamic in relationships.
  4. Krogstad, the antagonist of the play, is the only character to consistently treat Nora like an adult. Why do you think that is, and how do you think this drives the play forward?
  5. In the middle of act II, Dr. Rank confesses that he has been in love with Nora for a long time, and is telling her now because he’s going to die soon. Talk about this confession of love. Does this change things for Nora? Does it put something into perspective for the audience?

Closing Session: 

Now that we’ve discussed feminism in our round table, and you guys have grappled with what it means to be a feminist (your definitions were AWESOME, by the way, so much thought and depth!), we’re going to participate in the We Need Feminism Project.

Here is your assignment for this week: Make a sign that completes the sentence “I need feminism because” and send it to your teacher by Friday, March 27th. I will compile these photos into a new video for us!

Some tips:

  • Make the text on your sign bold and readable. Use markers, crayons, or color really heavy with pen or pencil.
  • You don’t have to show your face in your photo, if you don’t want to – use the sign to cover yourself!
  • Keep it school appropriate 🙂
  • If you mess up, get a new sheet instead of using the back. Sometimes writing on the back shows through the photo.
  • Make sure you flip the photo if you use the selfie cam – you don’t want your text to be backwards!

If you’d like to read more about the original project, you can check out this article, which links to the full gallery. Content warning: The images in the original project are uncensored and adult. Topics include rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and worse. If you want to look at the originals, you should do it with a trusted adult so that you can talk about what you’re seeing.


Looking Ahead: Tomorrow’s Checklist

If you want to get ahead on things, here is what we’re going to be doing tomorrow!

  1. Read the first half of act III of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (from the beginning of the act to when Dr. Rank leaves)
  2. Consider the relationship between Krogstad and Mrs. Linde.
    • How does this relationship differ from Nora and Torvald’s? How does Krogstad act around Mrs. Linde, compared to how he acts around Nora?
  3. Reflect on Nora as a dynamic character vs. Torvald as a static one.
    • Nora has changed and grown (dynamic character) and Torvald has stayed exactly the same (static character). Reflect on how the two of them are interacting now, in act III, versus how they were interacting back in act I.

Online Learning of A Doll’s House, Day 4

Goals for the Week:

  1. Draft a personal working definition of feminism. Due Friday, March 20th
  2. Read and analyze act I of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen.
  3. Read and analyze act II of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen.

Today’s Checklist:

  1. Read the first half of act II of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen from the beginning of the act to when Dr. Rank enters, again)
  2. Consider Nora’s conflict with Krogstad.
    • How is Krogstad blackmailing Nora? What does he want Nora to do? Why is Nora playing into it?
  3. Reflect on how Nora is changing.
    • At the beginning of the play, Nora was flighty, ditzy, and childish. Now she’s acting scared, anxious, and she seems to care a lot less about costume parties. What is driving this change?

Today’s Lesson!

Today’s video is a little longer than usual because it’s a 2-for-1 special! Mr. Mellman and Mrs. Bristow collaborate for our literary discussion!

Special guest stars include, Callie, Liam, and Memphis the cat!

Standard: ELAGSE9-10RL3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

Learning Target: I can understand a dynamic female character by reading A Doll’s House and listening to a discussion so that I can analyze how a Nora develops over the course of the play.

Activator: I’ve mentioned before that A Doll’s House is considered the first work of feminist literature. One of the things that makes the play uncommon is that it has a female protagonist, or main character.  For our activator today, I want you to try this exercise:

  • Set a timer for one minute
  • Write down all the stories, books, movies, or TV shows you can think of with a female protagonist – this means the story is ABOUT her, not just she’s in it (so, The Lion King doesn’t count, because it’s not Nala’s story!)
  • How many did you get? Did you run out of ideas before your timer was up?

Now that the wheels are turning and we’re thinking about women in literature, let’s continue reading A Doll’s House and see how Nora is doing in Act II!

Work Session: 

Today you’re going to be reading the first half of Act II of A Doll’s House, beginning at the start of the act and ending when Dr. Rank enters (it’s just a coincidence that we stopped at his entrance during act I – apparently, he tends to enter halfway through the act).

While you’re reading, pay attention to Nora’s relationships with the other characters. Specifically, look at how she interacts with her husband, Torvald Helmer, and her friend, Christine Linde. Remember the questions from the checklist:

  1. Consider Nora’s conflict with Krogstad.
    • How is Krogstad blackmailing Nora? What does he want Nora to do? Why is Nora playing into it?
  2. Reflect on how Nora is changing.
    • At the beginning of the play, Nora was flighty, ditzy, and childish. Now she’s acting scared, anxious, and she seems to care a lot less about costume parties. What is driving this change?

One of the reasons why this play is considered to be feminist is because of how Nora grows over the course of the play. Look back at act I and consider Nora’s attitude and how she acted around her friends and her husband, and look at how she’s acting now at the halfway point in the play. Nora’s growth as a character, from flighty and childish to strong and independent, is a big part of why this is a feminist play. These kinds of characters are rare – think of the list you made in our opening session. Do those characters grow and change over their stories, or do they mostly stay the same?

We don’t have a written assignment today, but don’t forget your personal definitions of feminism are due on Friday! Remember, your definition doesn’t have to be long – just a few sentences or maybe a short paragraph. Use the examples from Monday’s post to guide you 🙂

Closing Session: Take a look at this article, The Problem With Female Protagonists. In it, the author says

We took all his novels out of his bookcase, and sorted them into three piles based on the protagonist’s gender: ensemble (eg. The Wishing Tree), male, and female. And that’s when I discovered something interesting. Despite my concerns that I’d overdone it with the girl characters, and despite my conscious intention to provide a 50/50 split, only 27% of his books have a female protagonist, compared to 65% with a male protagonist.

I want you to try this in your own house! Go to your bookshelf, or movie shelf, or digital library, or whatever, and count up the number of stories that have a female protagonist. Then, divide that number by the total number of stories to get your percentage of female protagonists. Comment here with your number! Did you do better or worse than 25%?

oh, you’re wondering about my shelves? I found 39 out of 218 books and movies had a female protagonist. That’s only about 18%! Yikes! -Bristow

On a book shelf of 540 books, we had about 30 fiction with female protagonists.  It is probably about 450 out of fiction… and I didn’t count any of the ones that I had not read… including a bunch  of the Margaret Atwood… which I assume has a female protagonist, but I am not sure. -Mellman [Ed. note: 30/450 is about 7%]

Looking Ahead: Tomorrow’s Checklist

If you want to get ahead on things, here is what we’re going to be doing tomorrow!

  1. Read the second half of act II of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (from when Dr. Rank enters to the end of the act)
  2. Consider Nora’s relationship with Dr. Rank
    • What does Dr. Rank confess to Nora? Why does he tell her this? What is her reaction? Why does she react that way?
  3. Understand what’s going on with the blackmail situation.
    • Krogstad drops a letter in the mailbox. What does it say? What’s with Nora’s freak-out dancing? Why does Nora end the act saying “ Five o’clock. Seven hours until midnight; and then four-and-twenty hours until the next midnight. Then the Tarantella will be over. Twenty-four and seven? Thirty-one hours to live.”?

Capstone 3: Conference Friday


  • ELAGSE9-10RL7 Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums (e.g., Auden’s poem “Musée de Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus), including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment.
  • ELAGSE9-10W5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language Standards 1–3 up to and including grades 9–10.)
  • ELAGSE9-10L6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

Learning Target: I can evaluate and strengthen my writing and presentation skills by conferencing with my teacher so that I can make an awesome capstone presentation!

Opening Session:  LIBRARY TIME!! We’re walking down to the media center today so that you guys can return your old books (if you need to) and get a new one. Remember, you have your second Alternative Book Report due on Friday, April 3rd – that’s only 3 weeks away!

Work Session:

When we return from the library, we’ll set the timer for 20 minutes of Independent Reading. Use this time to dig into the book you just got!

After that, I want everyone to flip to activity 5.2, page 389, in your Springboard book. You’re going to be reading the lyrics to a song and answering some questions about it, since this song is an example of a call to action. You should also go watch the video! The song is “I Need To Wake Up” By Melissa Etheridge. Here it is

Obviously, this song is about climate change and the imminent danger we face. This is an example of a call to action. Although the ones you’re writing will be a little more straightforward than a song like this, I think you can tell what Etheridge wants you to do, right?

After listening to this song and reading the lyrics in the book on page 389, I want you to independently do the following:

  • Do the second “Setting a Purpose for Reading” bullet on page 389 (circle the vocab words and use context clues to determine their meaning)
  • Answer Second Read questions 1-3 on page 391
  • Complete the chart (Question 5) on page 392

We will be doing a book check on this activity!!!!

While you guys are working on the Springboard Activity, Ms. Jones, Ms. Hannah, and I will be calling you up for individual conferences. I want to make sure we check in with how you’re doing in the class so far and how you’re feeling as we move into the capstone presentation, since this is your final exam grade.

Closing Session:

Share out! The song you listened to today is about a topic that y’all usually love to discuss. Any burnign thoughts or questions before we go?

Assessment: Formative (Book check)

Differentiation: Process (scaffolding), individual conferences, learning style (auditory / use of music)


Capstone Preparation: Call to Action!


  • ELAGSE9-10W7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • ELAGSE9-10W1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
    1. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
    2. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
    3. Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
    4. Establish and maintain an appropriate style and objective tone.
    5. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

Learning Target: I can support my claim in my capstone presentation by identifying a call to action in an example article, so that I can create my own call to action for my presentation.

Opening Session:

Grab your Springboard books! We’re going to flashback to page 210 and look at an article we studied earlier in the semester, “Diners Should Pay Attention to Workers, Not Just the Food.” This article contains a call to action, which is a fancy way of saying it asks the reader to DO something. Take a few minutes to read over the article to refresh your memory, then identify the call to action. We’ll go over this as a class.

Work Session:

A major component of your capstone presentation is your call to action. You’re going to be asking the judges to take action to help fix the social issue you wrote about. Although it’s probably impossible for one single person to completely erase the issue you wrote about, EVERYONE can do something to help make it better.

This part of your presentation is really important, so we’re going to start working on it today. Grab your laptop, pull up your Social Issue essay, and create a new document in that same folder called “Call To Action.”

Here is an example article that’s all about a call to action: How to Be an Ally to Your POC Cosplayers This article is relevant to the cosplay community – people who dress up in character for things like Comicon or DragonCon – and explains a little about the issue of lack of diversity in the cosplay world, and how someone can help. We will go over this article as a class!

Take the rest of the work session today and start composing your own call to action. Write it out as a series of steps in that document you just created. Think carefully about it – things like “just be nice to people” aren’t really helpful, are they?

Closing Session: Share two or three of your call to action steps with a neighbor. We’ll call on a few pairs to share out!

Assessment: Summative (capstone presentation), Formative (Closing check-in)

Differentiation: Process (scaffolding), Choice (student choice of social issues)