The Medium is the Message

According to Marshall McLuhan, television is a “cool” medium because it provides little information and makes the user fill in what is missing. How do the House Hippo and Media Monkey ads make the user fill in the information?

House Hippo

Media Monkey

Do young people accept what they see in media as being reality? Provide specific examples to support your opinion.

Facts on Childhood Issues

Borrowed Poetry

Poets and other writers often use a quotation or line from someone else’s work to inspire them or provide a context for their own creations. Choose a line for one of your favorite poems and use it as a starting point for a poem of your own.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Floating Lanterns XII
On August sixth every year
the seven rivers of Hiroshima
are filled with lanterns
Painted with the names of the
fathers, mothers, and sisters
they float on their way to the sea

Almost there, pushed back
flame snuffed out
Darkly coming back in pieces
Tossed by ocean waves

That time, years past
these same rivers were filled
With the corpses of those
fathers, mothers, and sisters
— Poem by Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki
Translated by Nancy Hunter and Yasuo Ishikawa

Research the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by answering these questions:

  • What led to the decision to drop the atomic bombs?
  • What was the strategic objective of these actions?
  • What judgements have historians made about these events?
  • What other questions do you have about Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

Find descriptions, photos, or videos clips of the aftermath of the bombings. Using the information you have researched, write your own poem about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Injustice in Film

Justice
Justice seems to have many faces
It does not want to play if my skin is not the right hue,
Or correct the wrong we long for
Action hanging off-balance
Justice is like an open field
We observe, but are afraid to approach.

We have been burned before
Hence the broken stride
And the lingering doubt
We often hide

Justice may want to play
If we have an open smile
And offer the hand of communication
To make it worthwhile

Justice has to make me see
Hear, feel.
Then I wil know the truth is like a toy
To be enjoyed or broken — Poem by Rita Joe

View a film that addresses the theme of injustice. In what ways are the character’s attitudes to injustice similar to, or different from, the attitude presented in the poem? How do the charactersdemonstrate their attitudes?

Examine Popular Culture

Choose a person, event, or thing that is part of popular culture. Write an essay outlining the reasons the event, person, or thing has become part of popular culture. As you develop your essay, use the following process:

  • Write a brief outline stating your position on the topic. Jot down notes for three or four arguments that support your thesis.
  • For each point in your outline, write one or two paragraphs providing supporting details and examples.
  • End you essay with a concluding statement that reflects your opening paragraph.
  • Assess your essay. Did you clearly state the thesis in the introductory paragraph? Do the supporting paragraphs contain evidence (facts and details) proving the thesis? Is your argument reasonable and persuasive? Is your conclusion clear? Revise your essay.