This is our space to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and reflect on the themes of our World Literatures course. Adding content and sharing has never been easier! We will build the knowledge on this site together by:

  • Reflecting on our learning using blogs,
  • Contributing to our online discussions by posting responses and questions, and
  • Customizing a personal page (My Page).

Overall, this site should help us reflect on the themes and goals of the 10th grade World Literatures course, celebrate our accomplishments, and streamline how we share and learn information.



  • When you post, it is important to be respectful; be respectful of other people posting and respect yourself. This means that personal attacks, inappropriate language and content, insults and harassment of any kind are strictly forbidden. Consider this an online classroom and ask yourself if your comments would be acceptable in our physical classroom setting.


  • You will need to be sure that your comments and posts are adding to the discussion of the book or text. Before posting a comment, question, or blog entry, ask yourself, "will this forward the discussion we are having?" Your thoughts and ideas should be supported, and you should be using specific details to illustrate your ideas. Your posts should build on the discussion by responding to comments other students have made on a particular subject.


  • Yes, you will be graded on some of your contributions to this site. What does this mean? Your blog entries and forum posts should be thoughtful reflections, interesting ideas, and discussion provoking comments related to our texts. You will be told in advance which posts will be graded and how they will be assessed. Be sure to proofread before you post.

Good luck, have fun, and happy posting!


How Many Do You Know?


Earn up to 5 points of extra credit for attending a cultural event in our area and writing up a one-page reflection on what you saw.


Interactive Grammar Lesson:

You will need to register for an EDpuzzle account using this code ax2P3n. Once you do, you can watch the video below and your responses will be recorded for Ms. Ward.

What are our 20% Time Projects?

What? 20% Time Projects? What's That All About?

The basic premise of the 20 percent time project is that it is student-driven, passion-based learning. The idea gained traction as more and more people read Daniel Pink’s book Drive.  Pink, a former speech writer for Al Gore turned author, cites an idea that started with the 3M company and was expanded by Google.  Google encourages its employees to spend one day each work week, 20 percent of their work time, focusing on their own projects.  Why?  Well, it turns out that when people have autonomy over their work, time to master their skills, and a clear purpose, they are more motivated to learn.  And scientific studies and research supports this claim. In fact, Google’s philosophy of 20 percent time is how we now have Gmail!




What do you want to learn? One day each week during the second quarter we will be using our time to research the topic of your choice.  You goal is to become an expert on that topic.  But this project is not just about researching…it is about doing something with what you learn.  To complete this project successfully you will

  1. Pick a topic you are passionate about, something you want to learn. You may work alone or in small groups of no more than four students.
  2. Find a book on your topic to guide your learning.
  3. Pitch your project idea in a project proposal to the class for topic approval. You will submit both a written proposal and produce a video proposal to be posted to our class site for our community of learners to vote on.
  4. Connect with an expert on your topic to interview.
  5. Blog each Friday reflecting on your progress. Each post should also incorporate reflections on how your selected book is guiding your research.
  6. Produce something – a presentation, a writing piece, a show – that you share with people outside of our classroom.
  7. Reflect on what you have learned in a TED-style talk.


This is not simply a research project.  Once you’ve finished the research phase of this project, you must do something with your new found knowledge.  Students will be creating products and presentations (either individually or in small groups) that will extend beyond the classroom, such as documentary videos for H-Vision, web pages, pamphlets, newspaper or magazine editorials, an article for the Fordian, letters, public speaking presentations, fund raising, music, plays…or whatever you can think of to best make our community aware of your research topic.  The idea is to reach an audience outside the doors of our classroom in order to share your research.

Creating Your Pitch Video

Your video pitch will be a creative visual presentation that answers the same questions as your written proposal but in a way that engages our larger learning community.  Whereas your written proposal is meant for just your teacher, your video project proposal pitch is meant for our entire community to see and respond to.  So here are some guidelines and ideas to keep in mind:


Whatcha gotta do is make sure you answer these questions:

  1. Why are you interested in this particular topic?
  2. What question(s) are you hoping to answer through your research?
  3. What will you need to research?
  4. Where will you find the expert and the information you need?
  5. What will the outcome/product of your research be?
  6. Why is this a viable topic?


Once you have written your proposal, you need to figure out how to produce your pitch video. The video pitch will be organized in the same way as the written proposal; however, you have the freedom to produce your pitch in a way that makes the best sense for your topic.  You can elect to screencast a slide or Prezi presentation or you may want to record yourself talking – it is up to you.  Your video pitch should

  • engage your viewers with use of appropriate images and design elements,
  • present your idea in a professional, well-prepared manner,
  • be under two minutes in length,
  • answer the same six questions as the written proposal, and
  • be posted to our class website for our class to vote on.


Tools to Consider Using For Your Video:

  • Jing - a free app that allows you to screencast whatever is on your computer screen (and, it is already on the school computers)  
  • PowToon - an easy online app for creating animated presentations
  • Prezi - an online presentation program.  This would be a good first step to putting together your video and then you could screencast your presentation
  • RawShorts - This site is an easy...seriously EZ way of making engaging animated videos.
  • Screencast-o-matic.com - no downloading necessary with this free, online screencasting program.  Fast, easy, and awesome.
  • VideoScribe - Have you seen the RSAnimate videos? Well this app allows you to make videos in a very similar fashion.  It can be a bit time consuming, but the results are pretty cool!

Putting Your TED-Style Talk Video Together

So rather than delivering a speech on the stage, our speeches will be done by video.  But this is not a how-to speech.  You are not telling us how to replicate what you did.  Instead, your speech is a reflection of your learning journey.  You have five minutes or less to tell us

  • what you learned,
  • how you learned it, and
  • what we can learn from you.

So, put together a slideshow (no more than 20 words in the entire show), cite the images, video, and quotes that you use in your slideshow, and hop on Screencast-o-matic to record your slideshow and you delivering your talk. Never used Screencast-o-matic before? No worries!  Here's a basic tutorial. And, if you are looking for advice as you put together your talk, click HERE!


Putting Together Your Online 20% Portfolio

Below you will find a tutorial video to help you organize your 20% research online portfolio. You will also find these directions on the handout given to you in class. You will need to have links on your portfolio page to the following pieces:

  • a written project proposal,
  • a video project pitch,
  • four weekly blog post reflections,
  • 7-10 interview questions and responses,
  • an interview reflection blog post,
  • a link to your product, and
  • a link to your TED-style reflection talk video.

Online Portfolio Tutorial from msward on Vimeo.



Psychology Connections

Ms. Ward is not an expert on psychology, but she knows some people who are. So when her tenth grade honors students started to learn about psychoanalytic literary criticism, Ms. Ward decided to invite those experts into her classroom.  On Thursday, November 21st, second block students had an opportunity to learn from Mr. Siegerman, Haverford High School psychology teacher who introduced students to Freud’s theories of repression and consciousness.  Ms. Ward’s fourth block students had an opportunity to Skype with local psychoanalyst, Dr. Robin Ward, who also spoke with students about Freud’s theory of the divided self and shared a case example of repression to illustrate some of Freud’s concepts.  Students in both classes will be using this literary approach, among others, as they begin their student of Khaled Hoessini’s The Kite Runner in the coming days.


Talking with Publishers

On Tuesday, November 19th, students in Ms. Ward’s tenth grade English classes used Skype to connect with a variety of experts in the publishing field.  Our 10th grade English classes have been working on bringing a writing piece from our Writer’s Notebook to publishable quality which we then submitted to a variety of places for publication this week. But before submitting for publication, students in Ms. Ward’s second block course Skyped with the co-creator and Senior Editor at Teen Ink, Ms. Stephanie Meyer, who shared with students how pieces are selected for publication on both Teen Ink’s online site as well as in their monthly print magazine.  Students in Ms. Ward’s third block Skyped with the Production Manager of the Jenkins Publishing Group, Ms. Leah Nicholson in order to learn more about how books reach publication.  And Ms. Ward’s fourth block class used Skype to connect with Ms. Christine Weiser, the Executive Director of Philadelphia Stories who shared fantastic advice for revising both short stories and poetry, as well as details about what her editorial board looks for in the pieces that are submitted. Students had the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of someone in the publishing field before submitting their own work for publication this week. What fantastic real world writing connections!


Speaking with History

On Monday, October 7th during second block, students, staff, and parents had a rare opportunity to learn about history through the personal account shared with us by Holocaust survivor Michael Herskovitz. With help from the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center, Mr. Herskovitz has been speaking with members of our high school community for the last five years, and has shared his story of survival with over 2,000 students in our community.

Mr. Herskovitz, 84, described growing up in a rural Czechoslovakian area where his Jewish parents owned a grocery store. Herskovitz said he never felt different because people treated each other with mutual respect. But when Herskovitz was in his early teens, the German soldiers came through his town, changing everything her knew.

Nazi soldiers transported Mr. Herskovitz and his family to a ghetto where they were given a tent to live in.  But not long after moving into the tents, his family was taken to a railroad station and put them on cattle cars where they were transported to the Auschwitz Death Camp. Auschwitz was the last time he saw his mother, father, grandmother, and youngest sibling alive.  


Mr. Herskovitz had been at Auschwitz for one year before he was transferred to Mauthausen, a work camp in Austria, and then to Gunskirchen Extermination Camp, where "there was nothing but mud. You walked in mud over dead bodies." When asked how he survived, Mr. Herskovitz said he wanted to live so he could tell others what happened. Herskovitz has written two books about his experiences, Early One Saturday Morning and Our Cherry Tree Still Stands

What Should I Read Next? Click to enlarge.


Blog Posts

Interview Reflection

Posted by rhiannon. on January 17, 2014 at 12:30am 0 Comments

Interview Questions and Responses

Posted by rhiannon. on January 17, 2014 at 12:30am 0 Comments

20% Project Weekly Reflection 4

Posted by Curtis P on January 17, 2014 at 12:24am 0 Comments

Blog Post 4

Posted by rhiannon. on January 17, 2014 at 12:00am 0 Comments

20% Project Weekly Reflection 3

Posted by Curtis P on January 16, 2014 at 11:51pm 0 Comments

Interview With Mr. K

Posted by Matt M on January 16, 2014 at 11:18pm 0 Comments

Week four blog post

Posted by Matt M on January 16, 2014 at 11:00pm 0 Comments

Interview Blog Post

Posted by Anna on January 16, 2014 at 10:58pm 0 Comments

Interview Post

Posted by Sean T on January 16, 2014 at 10:31pm 0 Comments



Birthdays Today


Thank you!

Students, staff, and families of HHS raised $650 in one week to support the work ShelterBox is doing in the Philippines to help those most affected by Typhoon Haiyan.


Each morning Ms. Ward comes in and adds a vocabulary word on the board for students to use and find that day for extra credit.  This past Monday's word was cataclysm.  And it became a conversation starter on Monday for us to talk about the tragedy still unfolding in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.  By late Monday afternoon, students wanted to do something.  
Students suggested we start a fundraiser.  And, so we came up with a crazy idea: Ms. Ward would match any funds that students donated. By Tuesday, we put a poster up on our classroom door to track how much we had raised.  But Ms. Ward had to enlisted the help of some other teachers and staff in our building in order to help match funds, a great problem to have since students were so generously supporting the fundraiser. By Wednesday, a tenth grade student in one of Ms. Ward's classes, Kelly Burke, had gathered 50 student signatures to start a new student club, the Natural Disaster Relief Club, with a goal of connecting students interested in helping those in need. And by Thursday, students, staff, and parents were donating to our fundraiser in amazing numbers.
And in just one week, students and staff raised $650 to support the work of ShelterBox. In the wake of the cataclysmic events that rocked the Philippines this time last week, it is inspiring to see so much student action and empathy to help those most in need.


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