Category Archives: IGCSE support

Visualiser annotation

In John Tomsett’s new book This much I know… there is a lovely example of modelling annotation for a class, using a visualiser. I ran this today with my Year 10 class – a set who do not find poetry analysis or discussion easy – and I post the result.

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This is a great way to help students who are not necessarily ready to move to annotation or discussion of a text without support. The PDF shows a page from the Edexcel IGCSE anthology which we worked on under the visualiser. When I felt I wished to annotate, they were told to copy and I explained why I was writing what I wrote. Yes this is copying, but it is much more. The discussion element broadens and deepens the understanding and the modeled annotation enables them to confidently annotate their own work. For the first time the discussion was ended by the end of the lesson with much more to say.

We discussed the poem in terms of God/Satan, symmetry of good and evil, metaphors of fire and hell, the power and omnipotence of a God who could create the Tyger, the distinction between God and Satan,. the figurative idea of the heavens watered by tears, the alliteration and the rhythmic patterns, the idea of Innocence and Experience…

So much more was covered than in many lessons.  I like this, I had forgotten it and it works.

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Year 11: exploring key passages in TKAM

Sheets created in class in 25 minutes in order to focus on aspects of context, language and plot devices in TKAM.

passages-pdf

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Filed under Harper Lee, IGCSE support, KS4, mockingbird, Uncategorized

Much Ado: Deceit planning

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One of the joys of working in such a strong department as I do is finding evidence of the work left behind.  This is Miss Boyle’s classroom wall this morning.  I attach a PDF copy for closer scrutiny. Thank you.

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Knowledge Organiser MAAN for KS4

After the brilliant blog post by James Theobald here, I am sharing my Knowledge organisers as I make them… I will not share his – follow the link for many, many more, and I will add mine to his collection.

Here is Much Ado for KS4

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Filed under EDEXCEL IGCSE, GCSE support, IGCSE support, Paedagogy, Shakespeare, Uncategorized

Hide and Seek: Scannell

My favourite poem in the Edexcel IGCSE anthology…

This is for Year 10 who spent a grand 50 minutes exploring the SCA of SCASI.

One or two didn’t copy it and one was absent.

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I can’t summarise a poor photo, but the gist is that the poem is a poem of development from innocence to experience – the childish excitement of the opening becoming more of  a sense of “excited and scared” (Sondheim) as the child gains experience. We looked closely at Character to chart this development in the language used around the child and repressive nature of the imperatives which come from his internal voice (?) which add more and more inhibitions to his behaviour.

The overt sensory setting was a rich area of discussion as was the passage of time and the awareness of moving from one state to another after a cocoon-like wrapping in the sacks…  The boy emerges with heightened self-awareness as his innocent state is left behind him.

The Action divided between inside the shed and external action – the scuffling laughter suggesting his “friends” conscious rejection of him and the cold “biting at the same time suggesting the emergence of his recognition of his new state.

My boys may not have gone for the Sondheim allusion – this is Red Riding Hood ion Into The Woods – excited and scared as her “experiences” in the woods are considered – the new-found awareness s of sexuality is not really a feature here, but the personified garden of threat at the end seems clearly to signify a frightening new world which awaits our young adolescent.

 

 

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Refugee Blues group work: Y11 revision

My Year 11 were revising Refugee Blues (Auden) today. Their work is copied below.  Fee free to borrow.  They will be downloading and keeping…

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Edexcel Anthology: Young and Dyslexic?

A powerpoint resource as a starting point for work on the Benjamin Zephaniah article in the Edexcel IGCSE anthology. Other resources can be found here.

A you tube link to Zephaniah discussing Dyslexia can be found here 

young-and-dyslexic

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Macbeth and the Great Chain of Being: Initial thoughts

A powerpoint to introduce the idea of the Great Chain of Being to Year 10.  I like this focus for coursework since it requires understanding of the whole play and a wide range of characters.

There will be more on this subject and my Macbeth tag carries several linked pieces of writing.

Macbeth Chain 1
A screencast can be found on the department YouTube channel
Screencast

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The Doll’s House and The Merchant’s Tale

For the new OCR A level examination, these two texts can be run together in the drama and poetry paper.  I am quite excited about this: a 19th century Well Made Play and a Mediaeval poem, albeit a dramatic poem with narrator, hardly seem clear bedfellows.

The questions will take the from of general statements for discussion in the manner of the old A level paper. Alevel sample paper  In this paper I am offering my initial thoughts as a stimulus.  There are few examples of AO2 and my intention is to offer a springboard for my Year 13s to develop their own paths.

It strikes me that The Merchants’ Tale could indeed by a subtitle for Ibsen’s play.  It moves the focus from Nora – usually perceived as the doll and the player with dolls suggested by the title- onto Torvald.  A 19th Century merchant suffering from all that implies:  ludicrous working hours, a need to maintain ‘face’ and a need to sustain a position in society based on a high moral purpose.  Now, Januarie has little moral purpose – he is clearly marrying for sexual gratification and attempting to sidestep the sin of lust in so doing.  But there are similarities.

Both are obsessed with their business – Januarie shows this in his constant use of business lexis when discussing marriage and love, and Torvald in the need to work on December 26th at a job which he has not even started yet.  So both are driven and both enjoy their earning power.  Torvald has made the home lovely and chosen most of the decor of the apartment in a manner which resembles Januarie’s luxurious Italian decoration for the wedding feast.  Both have created a secret garden:  Januarie in reality and Helmer in the apartment.  It is clear that the return to the apartment in Act 3 is solely for sexual gratification (whether Nora agrees or not) much as Januarie builds his garden to allow him to perform the acts which can’t be performed in the home!  Thus the societal requirement of a locus amoenus in which to woo and make love is still alive in the 19th century.  One could even paint Dr. Rank in the colour of the courtly lover.

You should consider this.  Rank loves an untouchable maiden, the wife of a friend.  He is sworn to celibacy and suffers not only from his love-disease but also from the constant proximity of the unattainable.  In Act 2, when he admits his feelings Nora is horrified.  Whereas May seizes the chance for adultery with both hands, Nora ends the discussion with a firm finality.  She will not break her moral code to that degree and is also reluctant to remove herself from the position of control which she currently inhabits.  Whilst the two female protagonists share nothing in the discussion of morality, it is clear that they are consummate actresses who control their husbands even when their husbands do not realise it.  That the outcome is so different is due to Nora’s determination to stop playing roles and to establish her individuality.  Helmer is happy to compromise his moral position regarding Nora’s crime, just as Januarie places his hand on May’s womb, probably containing another man’s child.  Nora is a new woman for the 19th Century.

Elsewhere we see Helmer as a man unable to take advice if it is not in line with his straightforward pronouncements and thus mirroring Januarie’s ignoring of Justinus’ advice.  Where Januarie is flattered by Placebo, we could argue that Helmer enjoys the flattery of Nora who constantly plays the ‘squanderbird-game’, no more so that when she wants money.  She knows her sexual allure and is not afraid to use it to get what she wants.  This suits Helmer who wants to show her off  at the masquerade dancing the tarantella in the costume of a fisher women.  He revels in her beauty and is clearly turned on by this action.  From here it is a small jump to Januarie showing off his lower-born wife at the wedding.  Both men wish to take their rights as a husband when they are alone.  Januarie is not successful and Helmer is interrupted by a string of events.

In both texts society is challenged.  Ibsen writes a critique of bourgeois complacency and proposes the emergence of a new Existentialist citizen based on the writing of Kierkegaard.  Chaucer holds a mirror to the world and finds it wanting. He has held positions of power in commerce and has seen greedy merchants at first hand, moreover he makes his merchant a Knight – old and lust driven – a dangerous thing to do when the ghost of John of Gaunt hovers over your family.  IN short, neither offer a radical political manifesto for change, but both highlight the faults and fissures in contemporary society for those who wish to see them.

Convinced?  Well, this idea will develop as the new academic year progresses.  Hopefully there will be new writing and plenty of comment.

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Filed under IGCSE support, ks5, OCR English Literature, OCR NEW English Literature, Uncategorized

Screencast: Approaching a short writing task

A screencast to assist students studying Edexcel IGCSE with the short (20 minute) writing task.  Applicable to all and linked to material found here: short task blog post

The screencast is to be found on the department You Tube channel.

 

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