Teaching with the Olympic Games

I have been having a lot of fun incorporating the Winter Olympics into my English ESL classes. Part of the curriculum deals with Canadian culture and this seemed like a great opportunity to explore different areas of the country.


I asked the class how they could find out about the Canadian athletes who are performing on the world stage right now. It was a great teaching moment about finding appropriate online sources.

I then pointed them to the Official Team Canada website and asked them to pick an athlete and click through to their profile page and complete this graphic organizer.

Athlete Graphic Organizer PDF

Blog Post

The next step was for them to create a blog post with the information they gathered in their research. They were to include the important information such as Name, hometown, sport, medals won, records set, and any interesting facts they discovered. Plus, they had to find a YouTube clip of them performing and embed that as well.

Team Name Assignment

Connie Wyatt Anderson wrote this amazing lesson plan entitled “Team Names: A Reflection of History” that ties in nicely to the first two activities I did with my class this unit. It requires students to research a Canadian city and then create a fictional sports team with a name and logo that reflect the history of the community.

My plan was to have each student research the community their Olympic athlete hailed from. However, some students picked the same athlete or same hometown. So I had write a list of cities in the board from which they could choose. I didn’t give them the option of doing our city or Toronto. I wanted them to do the research and not rely on what they already knew.

I like how the lesson goes through the history of the CFL in Ottawa. It is very detailed and includes the new team logo.

I then showed the students other team logos and discussed the artistic choices and importance of the names to the community. We looked at other fake logos and I created one as an example for a very small community in Ontario.

This was a great assignment that ties in nicely with what is happening in the world right now. It is definitely something I plan on doing again.

Teaching Tip Tuesday – inspiration, tips, and tricks from my classroom to yours.

Word is Bond Rap Radio Celebrates 300 Episodes

It has been a great journey and there is no end in sight. I’ve come a long way since the very first episode of Word is Bond Rap Radio back in March of 2012. It’s hard to believe that this week’s episode will be the 300th one for the show.

We are celebrating it in a big way at Radio Western tomorrow night. There will be live performances, trivia, mixsets, and of course, real hip-hop music and talk.

I am thankful for this platform and have taken full advantage of all of its opportunities. I have grown as a DJ and it is easy to see over the past six years of programs how far I have come. I have always felt comfortable as a host and doing interviews and documentary segments. And look forward to another 300 episodes.

Come celebrate with us tomorrow at the station or wherever you are!

WHAT: Word is Bond Rap Radio’s 300th Episode Celebration
WHEN: Monday February 19, 2018
TIME: 11:30 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
WHERE: Radio Western. Room 250 UCC. Western University. London, ON. Canada
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1462224777239799/

Detective Novels Meet the Master of Horror

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

I had no idea that this was a detective story when I picked it up from the library a few weeks back. I have enjoyed every single Stephen King story that I have ever read. He just has a way with words and storytelling. However, this one seemed to be a bit different right off the bat.

I almost stopped reading it. I wasn’t interested in reading a story about a serial killer who never got caught and then decides to taunt a retired detective. It’s a tried and tired trope. When I told my wife about my reservations, she said, “It’s Stephen King though, he probably will put a twist on it.”

She was right. This time, it is the detective who strings along the bad guy. The detective was at a really low point in his life at that start of the story. He didn’t have much to live for now that he wasn’t wearing his badge. The thought of finally solving this case and catching the Mercedes Killer rejuvenated him.

The Mercedes Killer is a man totally without conscience. He is the type of guy that is bland, forgettable, but always outwardly pleasant. He hides in plain sight and is easy to hate and fear.

One of the interesting things about the fictional world of this novel is that Stephen King books exist within it. The main character makes reference to a few of the author’s previous works including Christine and It.

Stephen King did a great job in what he calls “his first hard-boiled detective novel.” This is normally a genre I stay away from. But I just discovered that King has written two more books and this is now part of the Bill Hodges trilogy, I might just have to dip back into the detective novel genre.

My List of 2018 Reads – coming soon


Chasing Content – February 2009

Let’s take a moment to travel back in time and explore posts from nine years ago. It’s time for a bonus edition of Chasing Content. Let’s go!

Read all of the posts from February 2009, 

or just these highlights . . .

Who Watches TV on a TV anymore?

Nine years ago, it was still a novel idea to watch TV shows on something other than a TV. It seems to be common practice now. Although, television is still holding on and hasn’t gone extinct yet.

Everwood – Perfect Television

And still my all-time favourite TV show. It’s a shame that it isn’t on Netflix for everyone to enjoy. My wife and I just watched the show in its entirety. It was her first time watching it and my fifth or sixth. I am so glad that she loved it as much as I do.

Teaching Tip – Keep it at School

I started teaching again last year and I have been doing a lot of work at home. That is almost a necessity when you start teaching. However, everyone needs a home / work balance. As a teacher, it is sometimes hard to do that. That is why I recommend doing all of your school work at school so that when you are home, you can truly relax.

My Customized Batmobile

This was a lot of fun to build. I still have it too!

The Very First Teaching Tip Tuesday

I revived this series last year but didn’t keep it up as regularly as I had hoped. I plan to write many more tips this year. It’s a great way to share things that work in my classroom that will hopefully inspire you or save you time. This one is a personal favourite for classroom organization. And it is so simple!

Belly Sunday

I miss this band. I found that t-shirt and have it safely tucked away in my closet. I plan to break it out soon.

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!

I do this at the start of every month to relive the best posts from the year before. I have a missed a few months here and there but plan to catch up on them all. This trip down memory lane was a lot of fun. Thanks for being for being on the journey with me.

Almost Forgot Valentine’s Day (WIB Rap Radio)

I almost forgot about Valentine’s Day this year. I had a crate of records cued up to celebrate Black History Month and then five minutes before Word is Bond Rap Radio took to the air, I realized that I should switch gears. I could push that show off for two weeks and play romantic hip-hop instead.

So, the next two weeks are set. Our next show is Episode 300 and I hope you will celebrate with me. I am inviting you all to either tune in or come by the station to celebrate this milestone.

Press play and enjoy Episode 299, The Valentine’s Edition of WIB Rap Radio.

Evidence – Love is a Funny Thing
The Roots – You Got Me
Eric B & Rakim – Mahogany
Biz Markie – Just a Friend
Journalist 103 ft VStylez and Eternia – Where is the Love
Skyzoo – Love is Love
Atmosphere – I Love You like a Brother
Boog Brown & Focus – The Possibility of Her
A-Fos – Tryna Love
Brother Ali – Baby Don’t Go
Classified – Got Luv
DL Incognito ft D-Shade – Universal Love
Masta Ace – Bklyn Masala
51nine02 – Just Like Us
D-sisive – I Love a Girl
Tempomental ft Nick Easton – Ill Intentions
Dessa – 5 out of 6
Napoleon Da Legend – Slash
Solomon Childs (cuts by Tone Spliff)– Stacks
Nine – The Revenant
Buckshot and 9th Wonder – Ready (Brand New Day)
Onyz ft Skyzoo – Ima Fckin Rockstar
Q-Unique ft Wordsworth – Rhyme & Reason
Cayoz Da Emcee ft Pheonix Paglaicci – Fire & Ice
Derty Mac – Homeboy
MLNY ft OB1 and Aces – Classik
Nature – Take a Trip
Nas and the National Symphony Orchestra – Memory Lane

Celebrate #WIB300 with us next week

WHAT: Word is Bond Rap Radio’s 300th Episode Celebration
WHEN: Monday February 19, 2018
TIME: 11:30 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
WHERE: Radio Western. Room 250 UCC. Western University. London, ON. Canada
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1462224777239799/

Listen to Word is Bond Rap Radio

Interact with us online

FacebookThe Word is Bond, Word is Bond Rap Radio, Chase March
Twitter – The Word is Bond, Chase March
Instagram – The Word is Bond, Chase March
Follow Radio Western on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

If you liked this show make sure to check out one of our previous shows

Feeding Your Flame (Student Writing Activity)

Last week’s Will Smith video response activity was a success. I decided to try it again with another of his Instagram videos. This one has a few harsh phrases or words that might not be appropriate for your classroom (please watch it before you share it with your students)

Please write a 2-3 paragraph response to this video.

You Are The Company You Keep

Have you heard the phrase, “You are the company you keep?” What do you think it means? Are your friends just like you? Do you like the same things and think the same way as your one of your friends? Use examples from your own life and explain why this person is a good influence on you?

Who Fans Your Flames?

Who supports you when you are trying something new? Who is someone is your life who is always there to help you? How have them inspired you to become better at something? Use specific details and examples from your own life in your response.

Inspirational Video

Is there a video you have seen online that inspires you? Copy the embed code to your blog and write a response to it. Make sure to use specific details and examples from your own life to explain why this video is inspirational. What does it make you think of and why should other people watch it?

More Tips

Teaching Tip Tuesdays – a regular feature on this blog to share inspiration and ideas from my classroom to yours

We’ve got momentum now, thanks to Will Smith. Hopefully we will be back with another Tip next week. Stay tuned! I hope to make this series a weekly feature for the rest of the school year. Please forgive me if I miss a week here and there, life is extremely busy right now. Thank you!

It’s Your Birthday Mixtape

I made this mixtape as a birthday present for a thirteen-year-old who is really into modern hip-hop. He made a few requests of songs that I am not particularly fond of. Fortunately, he left me some room to add songs of my choice. I threw in some new stuff and dipped into the past, as is my usual style.

The birthday boy told me that he absolutely loves this mix. I thought I would share it with you here since it falls outside of my usual boom-bap style. Hopefully, you will love it just as much!


Jux Cain kicking it on Word is Bond

Jux Cain paid a visit to Radio Western Monday night to kick it with me on Word is Bond Rap Radio. He brought some music to share, kicked a freestyle, and talked about his birthday concert going down Friday night.

The concert features some amazing talent, including the headliner Adam Bomb, one of Canada’s finest emcees. So, head on out to this show on London, Ontario, Canada and wish Jux a Happy Birthday while catching a dope show.

Original Sound Invented – Radio
Napoleon Da Legend – Constantly Armed
Cloud City Projects – Menace
Summer Sons – The Feeling
Fraction & Finsta – That Ain’t Me
Eh Vee – Get Ya Bars Up
Gary Rue – Phantomz
Jamo Gang – All Eyes On Us
Junia-T – LegoLegoLego
Paperchasers – Cake It
Big Sproxx and Adam Bomb – The Blindfold
Dre Specz – No Refunds
Big Sproxx and Adam Bomb – Lemme Tell ‘Em
Skyzoo – Heirlooms & Accessories
Jux Cain – Mastermind
E.Dot Famous – Rampage
JR Fillion and Jux Cain – That’s Life
Joe Stu – Day Job
Planet Asia ft Turbin – Shots at Your Highness
Apathy, Pharoahe Monch, Pete Rock – I Keep On
Crash Silverback and Max Muthaphukin’ Stax – 10 For Sale
Royce Da 5’9″, Joyner Lucas, Black Thought – Wrote My Way Out (Remix)
Jux Cain – Freestyle
JR Fillion – Reunite
J Downz, Jux Cain, Young Stitch – Violins

Go to the show

WHAT: Urban Legends Jux Cain Birthday Bash featuring The Legend Adam Bomb
WHEN: Friday February 9, 2018
WHERE: Old East Bar and Grill – 765 Dundas Street, London, ON.
EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/428843364199630/
SHOW: 9:00 p.m.

Listen to Word is Bond Rap Radio

Interact with us online

FacebookThe Word is Bond, Word is Bond Rap Radio, Chase March
Twitter – The Word is Bond, Chase March
Instagram – The Word is Bond, Chase March
Follow Radio Western on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

If you liked this show make sure to check out one of our previous shows

Adventures in Record Collecting

Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting by Eilon Paz

There is something beautiful about a record collection. This book captures that perfectly with amazing photographs. Every picture has a quotation that gives us an inside glimpse into the collection itself and the mind of the DJ, music lover, radio host, or musician. It’s vinyl porn with a purpose.

William “The Gaslamp Killer” Bensussen says, “Even after the apocalypse you could still get vegetable oil and run two tables and speakers. That’s what I hope to be doing at the end of the world – spinning all this wonderful music, dancing, and being in love.” 

I have no idea how that would work. I am sure there are ways to power a turntable with conventional activity. You could manually spin a record and it would still produce sound, so this is a very romantic idea.

Rich Medina suggests getting plastic sleeves to protect your collection. He admits that they are expensive but “totally worth it for preserving the cosmetic and sonic integrity of your stash.” He has damaged records and learned this lesson the hard way. He believes in protecting your records in as many ways as possible and closes with this thought, “the record you disrespect in storage will soon embarrass you in front of a dance floor.”

There is plenty of discussion in the book about classic samples including this one. Do you recognize this from rap songs?

I love everything about this book. I read it from cover to cover even though it begs for you to open it up randomly and discover something new. There are great interviews with Questlove, Giles Peterson, Four Tet, Joe Busard, and more.

Let’s close off with this thought, “Records are time capsules. They’re emotional, spiritual, energetically bound pieces of vinyl. They were cut with force and energy, not by a programmer.”

My List of 2018 Reads – a continually updated account of everything I read this year (coming soon)

Fault vs Responsibility (Student Response Activity)

I am posting this edition of Teaching Tip Tuesdays as an activity you can do with your students. I will be doing this today with my class. If you try it out, let me know how it works in the comments below.

Will Smith is an actor, rapper, and songwriter. This is one of his most popular songs.

He posted the following video to his Instagram last week.

He says, “The road to power is in taking responsibility. Your heart, your life, your happiness, is your responsibility and your responsibility alone.”

He closes off saying, “Taking responsibility is a recognition of the power that you seize when you stop blaming people.”

Please pick one of the topics below and write a 2-3 paragraph response.

Accepting Responsibility

What do you think of what he has to say in this video? Use examples from your own life or experience about a time when you accepted responsibility or a time that you didn’t. Would you do anything differently now?

Age and Responsibility

Write about the relationship between your age and level of responsibility. How do responsibilities differ for people your age verses those of adults or younger children? How has your sense of responsibility changed as you have gotten older? At what age should we become totally responsible and accountable for our actions?

Parents Don’t Understand

How did Will Smith’s character in the music video show responsibility? Do you think he should have acted differently in some of those scenarios? How does Will Smith use humour to tell this story and get you thinking? Have you had any similar experiences?

Acting Responsibly

Write at least five things you could say to yourself when you are tempted to act irresponsibly. Explain the meaning and significance of each.

Learning from Mistakes

Describe something you’ve done that was really irresponsible. How did you feel afterward? What did you learn from it?

More Tips

Teaching Tip Tuesdays – a regular feature on this blog to share inspiration and ideas from my classroom to yours

I haven’t been writing this series on a weekly basis for the past little while. I apologize about that. I have been extremely busy, but plan to get back into the routine now. At the every least, I will add a new post to this series monthly. So stay tuned. Thank you!