Category Archives: writing skills

A taste of Trump…

I thought I’d paste a little taste of Trump here for students to look over. we spend so many hours teaching students to write with clarity and to structure and organise… and then this:

TRUMP: We stopped giving them because we were getting quite a bit of inaccurate news, but I do have to say that — and I must say that I want to thank a lot of the news organizations here today because they looked at that nonsense that was released by maybe the intelligence agencies? Who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they in fact did that. A tremendous blot, because a thing like that should have never been written, it should never have been had and it should certainly never been released.

But I want to thank a lot of the news organizations for some of whom have not treated me very well over the years — a couple in particular — and they came out so strongly against that fake news and the fact that it was written about by primarily one group and one television station.

So, I just want to compliment many of the people in the room. I have great respect for the news and great respect for freedom of the press and all of that. But I will tell you, there were some news organizations with all that was just said that were so professional — so incredibly professional, that I’ve just gone up a notch as to what I think of you. OK?

All right. We’ve had some great news over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been quite active, I guess you could say, in an economic way for the country. A lot of car companies are going to be moving in, we have other companies — big news is going to be announced over the next couple of weeks about companies that are getting building in the Midwest.

You saw yesterday Fiat Chrysler; big, big factory going to be built in this country as opposed to another country. Ford just announced that they stopped plans for a billion dollar plant in Mexico and they’re going to be moving into Michigan and expanding, very substantially, an existing plant.

I appreciate that from Ford. I appreciate it very much from Fiat Chrysler. I hope that General Motors will be following and I think they will be. I think a lot of people will be following. I think a lot of industries are going to be coming back.

We’ve got to get our drug industry back. Our drug industry has been disastrous. They’re leaving left and right. They supply our drugs, but they don’t make them here, to a large extent. And the other thing we have to do is create new bidding procedures for the drug industry because they’re getting away with murder.

Pharma, pharma has a lot of lobbies and a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there’s very little bidding on drugs. We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don’t bid properly and we’re going to start bidding and we’re going to save billions of dollars over a period of time.

And we’re going to do that with a lot of other industries. I’m very much involved with the generals and admirals on the airplane, the F-35, you’ve been reading about it. And it’s way, way behind schedule and many, many billions of dollars over budget. I don’t like that. And the admirals have been fantastic, the generals have been fantastic. I’ve really gotten to know them well. And we’re going to do some big things on the F-35 program, and perhaps the F-18 program. And we’re going to get those costs way down and we’re going to get the plane to be even better. And we’re going to have some competition and it’s going to be a beautiful thing.

So, we’ve been very, very much involved, and other things. We had Jack Ma, we had so many incredible people coming here. There are no — they’re going to do tremendous things — tremendous things in this country. And they’re very excited.

And I will say, if the election didn’t turn out the way it turned out, they would not be here. They would not be in my office. They would not be in anybody else’s office. They’d be building and doing things in other countries. So, there’s a great spirit going on right now. A spirit that many people have told me they’ve never seen before, ever.

We’re going to create jobs. I said that I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created. And I mean that, I really — I’m going to work very hard on that. We need certain amounts of other things, including a little bit of luck, but I think we’re going to do a real job. And I’m very proud of what we’ve done.

And we haven’t even gotten there yet. I look very much forward to the inauguration. It’s going to be a beautiful event. We have great talent, tremendous talent. And we have the — all of the bands — or most of the bands are from the different — from the different segments of the military. And I’ve heard some of these bands over the years, they’re incredible.

We’re going to have a very, very elegant day. The 20th is going to be something that will be very, very special; very beautiful. And I think we’re going to have massive crowds because we have a movement.

TRUMP: It’s a movement like the world has never seen before. It’s a movement that a lot of people didn’t expect. And even the polls — although some of them did get it right, but many of them didn’t. And that was a beautiful scene on November 8th as those states started to pour in.

And we focused very hard in those states and they really reciprocated. And those states are gonna have a lot of jobs and they’re gonna have a lot of security. They’re going to have a lot of good news for their veterans.

And by the way, speaking of veterans, I appointed today the head secretary of the Veterans Administration, David Shulkin. And we’ll do a news release in a little while. Tell you about David, he’s fantastic — he’s fantastic. He will do a truly great job.

One of the commitments I made is that we’re gonna straighten out the whole situation for our veterans. Our veterans have been treated horribly. They’re waiting in line for 15, 16, 17 days, cases where they go in and they have a minor early-stage form of cancer and they can’t see a doctor. By the time they get to the doctor, they’re terminal. Not gonna happen, it’s not gonna happen.

So, David is going to do a fantastic job. We’re going to be talking to a few people also to help David. And we have some of the great hospitals of the world going to align themselves with us on the Veterans Administration, like the Cleveland Clinic, like the Mayo Clinic, a few more than we have. And we’re gonna set up a — a group.

These are hospitals that have been the top of the line, the absolute top of the line. And they’re going to get together with their great doctors — Dr. Toby Cosgrove, as you know from the Cleveland Clinic, has been very involved.

Ike Perlmutter has been very, very involved, one of the great men of business. And we’re gonna straighten out the V.A. for our veterans. I’ve been promising that for a long time and it’s something I feel very, very strongly.

So, you’ll get the information on David. And I think you’ll be very impressed with the job he does. We looked long and hard. We interviewed at least 100 people, some good, some not so good. But we had a lot of talent. And we think this election will be something that will, with time — with time, straighten it out and straighten it out for good ’cause our veterans have been treated very unfairly.

OK, questions? Yes, John (ph)?

Thank you to the BBC website, where you can find the whole transcript of the recent press conference.

It’s not a question of bringing politics into the classroom, but since many of use have used Obama as an exercise when discussing rhetoric, this ought to be considered…

 

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Filed under AQA LitB 4, EDEXCEL IGCSE, Edexcel IGCSE from 2016, Uncategorized, writing skills

feedback: Who is the most memorable character…

… in TKAM?

When answering this type of question, popular in the Edexcel IGCSE students might want to use these steps as a guide:

1: There is no right answer, but you must have enough material in your chosen character to establish a good, detailed and broad response in order to show, at least, “thorough” knowledge as required to attain 19-24/30.
2: If a character is truly memorable that is because the writer wished the readers to remember that character. Bear this in mind. The character must embody something about the messages which the writer wishes to impart. If you are not sure about the underlying themes or philosophies being discussed, then this is a tricky essay to write well.
3: This essay is not a straightforward character essay. Yes you will need to explore their character, but also explain what it is that makes them memorable.
4: Any character is a construct. Try not to write as though they are real, autonomous characters who think for themselves. They don’t. They have been created in a certain way to convey a certain purpose. Try to show you understand this…

With this in mind, students have just been writing a response to this question based on TKAM in a past IGCSE Lit paper.

I will show an outline plan here for 2 characters: Atticus and Bob Ewell…

Atticus: role- educator, personification of justice, father. Lee is writing to point up the parlous state of bigotry and justice in the South in the 30s. She is intending her writing to reflect the mood of the late 50s and early 60s. This Atticus is needed to be memorable since he embodies the role of the “righteous”…
Here are some ideas:

a: For Atticus to teach the children the fundamental character traits needed to deliver a better world he needs to be put into a series of “lessons”. Throughout part 1 there are a number of these, from stopping the playing of the Radley-game to the lesson in courage which bis Mrs Dubose. Choose wisely and explore a couple to develop the idea that both the children and the reader need to be educated before the trial starts to ensure that the lessons are fully learned.
b: The trial is the centre piece of Part 2 and the lesson here is about justice and the idea that there is a natural justice which is not always represented by the justice delivered by a society which has formulated laws to reinforce the status quo within that society. Atticus is not necessarily free of the taint of racism, but he is clearly embodying the idea that what is just should be fought for, whatever the odds. This section can be used for what Lee evidently intended to be the set piece – his summing-up speech. This speech is so clearly an attack on the complacency of a white hierarchy that it becomes, almost verbatim, the centrepiece of Gregory Peck’s Atticus on film – a depiction of the novel which is so Atticus centered that it tends to slew our recollection of the novel. Clearly we are meant to remember this speech if little else!
c: Atticus is self-effacing yet has deep courage. It is no accident that two passages complement each other in this text: the shooting of Tim Johnson and the threatening second mob scene. In both Atticus is depicted as the calm “ever fixed mark” at the centre of a tempest. Highly memorable scenes which serve to stress the idea of justice being immovable at the centre of a wild world.
d: As a father Atticus is a model – almost too good to be true. He is a single parent who manages to bring up his children in an era of poverty and yet manages to teach them about fairness, courage and honesty despite the challenges he faces. You can choose any of his interventions, but cast an eye to the structure of the novel. Jem is useful. We recall how he is “disappointed” in Atticus early in the story, and becomes hero-struck during the trial, hanging on every word. This book is a bildungsroman. Atticus is particularly memorable because it is his interactions with the children which show the pair develop from the innocence of the opening pages to the worldly experience of the end of the novel. He is memorable because Lee despite Atticus’ input, it is the children who seem to make this journey for themselves.

I use Bob briefly to show how one can approach another character, with much less input on the pages of the book.
a: He embodies Lee’s message that despite social adversity, a good human does not fall below a certain standard of behviour. She needs her readers to recognise this and to take this message away from their reading.
b: His character is memorable because of those to which he stands in apposition. The main difference can be found in the description of his home compared with that of the poor black community. Here setting meets character – Bob’s home is Bob. It is destroyed by his selfish obsession with his own pleasure and his general laziness and careless cruelty. His character is set into by Mayella and her pathetic attempts to bring beauty and colour into the home. This makes his savage assault on her, possibly the mother of some of his children, all the more horrific.
c: He opposes Atticus in the trial and is all Atticus is not. He shows scant respect for the proceedings and an arrogance born of the colour of his skin seems to lead him to ever greater excess of behaviour. He is memorable by comparison, and he does not come out of the comparison well.
d: He seems to embody a cowardly, disreputable white bigot of a kind which Lee wants to hold to account. In a book full of racism, hypocrisy and scant regard for the dignity of those worse off, the best one can say about Ewell is that he is not a hypocrite, unlike the fine Maycomb ladies. He is shown to be a shallow and cowardly being from the moment Burris is scornful (children in this book are a direct product and reflection of the mores of their parents) and cruel to Miss Caroline to the final murderous attack on the children. He acts when drunk and in the comfort of a protective group of hangers on.
We should remember Bob just as much as we remember Atticus – he is the figure against which we are being warned. Men like him should be challenged, says Lee. He has to be memorable if the story is to have any lasting purpose.

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Filed under EDEXCEL IGCSE, Edexcel IGCSE from 2016, GCSE support, Harper Lee, mockingbird, writing skills

Using a visual stimulus for creative writing

I got this material after attending a session at NATE 2016. The original can be found on the brilliant Manchester art Gallery web site. The teaching notes are here: Teachersnote

My attempt to derive a teaching resource – you will need big paper and pens and can dip in rather than use this as a coherent lesson model:

writing from image

I hope I have done this justice…

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Creative writing in Year 7

There is a great resource on Teachit ( I believe), written by Fran Nantongwe called “Quest for the cure”.  I got a copy a while ago through a colleague at a NATE conference and love using it in Year 7.

The idea is that the class develop a novel through pieces of creative writing – all transactional and with a particular focus – persuasive, descriptive etc.

It is brilliant and Fran is a star for developing so much.  I attach my PowerPoint for teaching the module, a few of the resources I use to help the students to write and 2 booklets of work from this Year’s Year 7s.

7b zebulon doc

7NV ZEBULON COMPOSITE

Peel Zebulon intro

PPt (2)

mayor’s speech Persuade

Zebulon Project Character Profile

Y7 Diary Writing

The Public Execution – Kite runner extract

persuasion_Atticus Finch (screenplay)

 

 

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Hunting the (JLS) Snark

Following on from an earlier post in which I looked at a draft outline for an approach to the Hunting of the Snark, here are my draft teaching materials for my class in the 7 class activity to recreate the Snark as part of the 140th anniversary of the founding of the school.

The rationale:

  • First published in Easter 1876, Lewis Carroll’s Hunting of the Snark is a classic piece of Victorian nonsense poetry. It is easy to imagine the new boys at The John Lyon School being in receipt of this book as a present and learning to recite the verse among their friends. There meaning of the poem is obscure – if it has one at all! Certainly the original group of travellers are left in little doubt that the “Snark IS a boojum, you see”. The suggestion is that the object of our desire is somehow a deceit – a fantasy which will cause the finder to disappear entirely – perhaps to lose their individuality in the faceless world of a wider society.
  • Today, in our anniversary year, we are revisiting this text in Years 7&8 and electing to find our JLS Snark in 2016. A Snark is some form of scholarly success – certainly not solely academic – that might be the boojum- a one-trick pony who offers little to society than an obsession with personal achievement ion a narrow academic context. Our Snarks seek a wide range of skills and activities and learn that failure is only deferred success and that risk-taking in the name of progress is vital to the development not just of young minds, but of all humanity.

My class are working on Fit 2:  the Bellman’s speech.  I hope my ideas work and that anyone reading this might be inspired to develop something of their own…

 

Hunting of the snark

Fit the Second

snark teaching idea for 7B

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OMAM introducing Curley’s wife

A short ppt to work on the first appearance of Curley’s wife

curley wife intro

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Year 7 Monsters in Poetry: a short resource booklet

Poetic Monsters

I am about to give a short module based on Monsters in Poetry to year 7. I have made a handout of the poems I want to use and attach it for download here. The poems are Tyger and Pike (Blake and Hughes). I want to begin with work on the power of metaphor and thought that two poems about the natural world and our response to it would be an interesting introduction. The fact that both poems are used in IGCSE anthologies should not preclude their being used at this level. I thought that Jabberwocky would be fun to explore – after all, there is no better way to develop an awareness of the power of vocabulary than by creating and interpreting one’s own. I opted for Classics over Beowulf – I have created a Yr 8 Classics/Literature module in this area before and thought I would borrow… Once again, the images around Polyphemus eye are wonderful in this poem and beg for creative responses. https://jwpblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/year-8-poetry-and-classics-module/ Finally, a Frankenstein poem by Edward Field. Time to explore the idea of monster a little further. This will form the basis for a final written task on the poems.

A powerpoint to help with the PEARL analysis process:
pee-to-pearl-tyger

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Year 7 Writing module: IED leading up to Christmas

This module is based on a Year 9 scheme discussed here:https://jwpblog.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/an-autobiography-sow-for-year-9/ on the blog.  It was originally my work and was then adapted by the excellent @Engleeshteacher, Traycie Wrycraft.  I have come back to it to use with my new Year 9 class in a 4 or 5 week slot up to Christmas.

In essence, I teach the main features of creative writing to IED and then ask the students to make a little CD booklet of their responses.  I provide CD covers and the rest is simply fun.  This year I will be looking at drafting as special focus in line with Ron Berger’s “Ethic of Excellence”-  one of my touchstones.  My wish is to play as small a part as possible in the creation process.  The work should be independent and should reflect a wish to be as good as it possibly can be.

my_greatest_hits

Y7 IED cd writing

model

y7 writing stimulus images

PT_Boy

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Approaching creative writing for Edexcel IGCSE

This s designed to support students in their writing rather than to “teach” techniques. It focuses on the idea that range and variety is paramount and includes a link to the brilliant Triptico Slow Writing web page. if you have not used that resource, I cannot urge you too strongly to do so without delay.

creative writing 1

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Yr 9 OMAM table tops

Material on OMAM for my new Year 9s. First attempt at looking at characterisation

table OMAM

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