Mr. Patterson's Blog

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Comedy: Preferences and Joke Writing

Hi Gang,

Today we started our unit of comedy writing. We spent a good part of the 1st period going around the room sharing what we thought was funny.

The next class we opened by my teaching which words are the most funny and then why.

Next, I asked people to write 3 kids jokes for next class. These are pun (or near pun) jokes where humour comes from the double meaning of a word.

The criteria are:

  1. One food joke
  2. One fish joke
  3. One of your own chosing

Here’s a quick reminder of how those jokes work.

Verbal Jokes: Pun: One word (or an exact sound alike), two meanings. Our brain hears the first part of the sentence and assumes meaning A, but then the punch-line twists it, and it turns out to be meaning B. It can be the word itself or its context in the sentence – For example:

Man 1:         My dog has no nose

Man 2:         How does he smell?

Man 1:         Terrible


Q:      How do you make antifreeze?

A:      Steal her blanket.


Verbal Jokes: Near Pun (it’s like a pun but not 100%): A Very tricky technique where the punch sounds a bit like the word expected from the setup, but not really.

Image result for puns


Person 1:      I ate too much Middle Eastern food and now I falafel.


Q:      How many people live in South America?

A:      Like, a Brazilian.


Then we ended with today’s featured comic: Steven Wright


Webby Awards Assignment

Today we looked at a few websites that won WEBBY awards.

I gave everyone a handout to take notes/analyze any TWO site.

Complete this sheet and get it back to me by the end of class.


Website Evaluation Assignment 2014

Webby Awards Site

Webby Awards

Here are some possible websites:










Essay New Submit Date, Submission information and Work Cited

Hey Nerds,

I finally got around to posting the submission information for your essays. I have a few bits of important info for you.

  1. You’ll like this one…

I have been away for the last few days with a level of sick I have not experienced in my recent adult memory. As such, I was not around for a couple of important days where students came to ask for help. In the spirit of fairness, I’d like to honour those missing days. Therefor, I’ve moved the due date of the essay one week back to FEBRUARY 21st. Happy Valentines, Jerks.


2. Submission info

Here’s where you go to submit your essays. It’s the assignment called “HAMLET ESSAY”. I think  you can figure that out.

English Period  C

Enrolment Key: englishc

Class ID: 16653367


English Period E

Enrolment Key: englishe

Class ID: 16653384


English H

Enrolment Key: englishh

Class ID: 16653397



3. Works Cited

Cut and paste this to the bottom of your essay.

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Harcourt Brace, 1988

Storytelling Day 2: Some tips, some examples and something to do.

Today we’re going to get to know a bit more about story telling.

  1. First I gave out a list of simple storytelling tips. We read it together. Here it is again:story telling tips

2. Next we watched a few more MOTH stories, using the tips guide to explore them.

This first one is pretty serious and tough.


3. Your Task: I would like you to pick a story for next class and tell it


  • Minimum 2 minutes
  • Some true
  • Make sure you know your first line, last line and how you’ll meet the three basic criteria from the handout.
  • This will be in small groups (your tables) so don’t panic.



The Birth and Rise of YouTube

Let’s open with the top 3 viewed YouTube video of 201

181 Million Views

118 Million Views

1. 103 Million Views

Here’s a little look back at some of the YouTube videos that started it all…

1. This is the first video put up on YouTube. Get ready for the ride of your life…

This is Jawed Karim, one of the inventors of YouTube. This video went online in April of 2005, forever changing the landscape of video entertainment.

2. Bus Uncle: This was the first bit YouTube hit. It was the first time somebody used YouTube not to share a video of themselves but of something bad happening to somebody else. There have been a few more of those kinds of videos added since then…

3. Guitar/Chocolate Rain: These was the first instance of somebody using YouTube to show off their considerable skills. A young man wanted to share with the world his fast finger guitar styling while another (Tay Zonday) his particularly deep voice.

4. Numa Numa Kid/Star Wars Kid/Afro Ninja: YouTube spread was slow at first. It was mostly people sharing their own personal videos with their friends. These 3 short videos changed all that. They were passed around, e-mailed, commented and parodied for months, and in the process made YouTube a household name. What do they all have in common? Humiliation.

The Star Wars Kid also started another big trend in YouTube videos, reworking somebody else’s content. This video was edited, tweaked and recut thousands of times over.

5. Sneezing Panda/Dramatic Turn Gopher: Besides humiliation, a large segment of the population got obsessed with cuteness. YouTube was soon crowded with kittens, puppies and all types of adorable creatures. Here are the 2 most famous animal videos…

6. Using the Net: Overtime people started to see YouTube as a means to create instant celebrity. You no longer needed to work your way into the media spotlight, you just tossed something up on the web and waited to see what happened. All you needed was some talent (or not…Bieber, I’m looking in your direction), a good idea, luck or any combination of the three.

Matt Harding is an American writer and video game designer. He’s also an internet celebrity. He made an amusing short film of him doing a silly dance in a few locations around the world. The people at Stride Gum saw it and offered Matt a lot more money to fly Matt around the world, doing his dance anywhere and everywhere. Here’s the end result.

One day performance artists Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz were playing around with how they could use the explosive combination of Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos. The next thing you know, they’re all over the internet and on the David Letterman show, doing this…

The Lonely Island

The Lonely Island are a rap/comedy trio who rose to fame on Youtube before making the transition to mainstream on Saturday Night Live.  Their video Lazy Sunday,” is YouTube’s first greatest hit, and it’s an example of the sort of content–short-form comedy–that is ideal for the YouTube format. “Lazy Sunday” was posted the day after it aired and quickly became one of the most-viewed videos on the site. NBC’s lawyers freaked and asked YouTube to remove the video after 5 million viewings, but it has been reposted and removed numerous times since. Its popularity led NBC to make the video available through Apple’s iTunes and has driven the availability of online “snippet” content culled from broadcast television.

OK Go, “Here It Goes Again”

Warning: Do not watch this video more than two times in one day. Excess viewing may result in humming the addictive chorus until epilepsy sets in. As music videos go, it is a perfect storm of YouTube popularity–an endlessly catchy tune, a simple yet original execution (how many times did they have to rehearse that eight-treadmilled routine until they got it right in one long take?) and a proud trumpeting of a low-budget ethos.

Lonelygirl15: “First Blog / Dorkiness Prevails”

A 16-year-old home-schooled American teenager named Bree narrates her story into a webcam, leading viewers on a voyage of life, love, the occult, abduction and self-obsession. Except she’s really an actress, and the series is a hoax–scripted content passing itself off as a webcam confessional. When the ruse was exposed, it was an international news event, and millions of consumers heard the word “YouTube” for the first time.

Randy Pausche was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the US. Shortly before he died of cancer he gave a lecture about achieving your childhood dreams. This video went viral and within weeks he was on the Oprah show, had the lecture adapted into a book and, most importantly to Pausche, landed him a walk on role in the last Star Trek film. He passed away not long after.




Story Tellers

Today we started in on a mini-unit about non-fiction storytelling. We’re going to be at this for about 3ish weeks, basically until you complete the novel and we can launch in on that.

To open up this unit I wanted to take a look at a couple of storytellers. If you were in my Gr. 11 class last year you’ll recognized the style of video but not the content (I’m using different ones) as stories taken from THE MOTH, a storytelling collective based out of New York.

We’re going to look at some of these stories today and get a sense of what makes for good storytelling. We used this in Gr. 11 to highlight basic oral skills (how to pause, use you hands, emphasize words, etc) but now we’re going to look at the structure of the stories themselves.