February Musings!

Children's Valentine, 1940–1950

Children’s Valentine, 1940–1950 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

February is here along with cold Winter days, warm Valentine hearts and I LOVE MY LIBRARY MONTH!!

  In the virtual commons we are enjoying our Read-A-Thon, with 120 students registered  to meet great literacy goals.  We commend all readers and parents who take the time out of their days to promote literacy with their students.  Your children will thank you one day for mentoring them in the love of READING, encouraging the beauty of words, and the joyful sound of poetry!

We also celebrate Black History this month and you can check out lots of links in our weblinking library here, or find some books in our physical commons here.

To find some ideas for sharing Valentines Day go here.

Winter lesson plans can be found here.

Discover Canada’s North with 2learn.ca and some great lesson plans!

On the Ning discover more of your gifts with our Photographic competition or join in the Design your Own logo competition. Come and share in the collaboration, and start your own forum, or share your favourite project you have worked on?  If you don’t have an invite and are 13 years or older be sure to contact pdavies@onlineschool.ca or nsing@onlineschool.ca.

On the E library discover some of our  latest reads including Eric Wilson and Sigmund Brouwer who team up to capture middle school students with the Seven Bundle!

“When David McLean, well-loved grandfather and avid adventurer, dies, he leaves behind an unusual will that outlines sevens tasks he has set for his seven grandsons. Eric Walters, John Wilson, Ted Staunton, Richard Scrimger, Norah McClintock, Sigmund Brouwer and Shane Peacock bring their signature writing styles to a series of adventures that take readers from the top of Kilimanjaro to the bottom of the Mediterranean.”   

Note you need to have your username and password to get access to the e library.  Contact pdavies@onlineschool.ca or swiebe@onlineschool.ca to get your access started;)

PS Watch out for new e books coming to our e library this week!!  We are taking your requests and adding them so please let us know if there is a book, fiction or non fiction that you would like to read?  We are also adding to our adult non-fiction area.

Catch up on the latest weblinks and techie sharing on our HCS Scoopit Newsletter!

Natalie Sing our Curriculum consultant shares our February Birthday Author, Charles Dickens for this month!  Thank you Natalie!

English: Detail from photographic portrait of ...

English: Detail from photographic portrait of Charles Dickens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)This month we are celebrating the anniversary of the birthday of Charles Dickens who was born February 7, 1812 and who died on June 9, 1870.

This month we are celebrating the anniversary of the birthday of Charles Dickens who was born February 7, 1812 and who died on June 9, 1870.

Charles Dickens was one of the greatest novelists in the Victorian era.  As a child he was forced to leave school to work in a factory, when his father was thrown into debtor’s prison. He managed to return to school, after his father’s release and complete his education. Over his lifetime, despite his circumstances he managed to write 15 novels and 5 novella’s, edit a weekly journal for 20 years, and write hundreds of short stories and articles.

Here are just a few in many free digital and audio forms:

Pickwick Papers – originally published as a monthly serial – 1836-37 on audio

Oliver Twist – originally published as a monthly serial 1837-1839 on audio

David Copperfield – originally published as a monthly serial 1849-1850 on audio

A Christmas Carol – 1843 on audio

Hard Times – originally published as a monthly serial in 1854 on audio

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby – originally published as a monthly serial 1838-1839 on audio

Little Dorrit – originally published as a monthly serial 1855-1857 on audio

A Tale of Two Cities – originally published as a monthly serial 1859 on audio

Great Expectations –  originally published as a monthly serial 1860-1861 on audio

The characters in a Dickens novel draw me into the story. Rich in descriptive vocabulary, it becomes too easy to imagine these characters as both friends and enemies. Another thing I enjoy about Dickens novels is the elaborate twists and turns in the plots. You are never quite sure how the story will end. Many of Dickens novels are set in tough times in England; places like poor houses, factories, debtor’s prison, boarding houses, far from our experience, yet Dickens brings them alive for us. He has been there and experienced them. Here is an article about Dickens Christian beliefs.

Tale of Two Cities, set during the French Revolution is a great novel for a Grade 9 humanities student. Many of the other novels also bring the early Industrial Revolution alive for us. But studying one of these novels any time, is well worth the time and reading pleasure!

Charles Dickens, 1858

Charles Dickens, 1858 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because of the rich characters, the challenging settings and the very skilful plots there is always much to talk about after reading a Dickens novel. I urge you to read one soon!! “God Bless us, Every One” (from A Christmas Carol)

images from Wikipedia


  1. Some real classics here Pippa!…thanks for letting the Commons know about them!…Joris


  2. Great article! We will be linking to this particularly great content on our
    website. Keep up the great writing.


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