The rationale for this post has been explored here . My intention is to provide an outline and resources to help students in Year 10/11 approach “the Beast” – the 6 poem coursework extravaganza that gives 40% of their IGCSE marks…
The task requires careful planning and is the nearest i get to a scaffold at this level. I try to encourage clear planning of each paragraph, let alone the essay as a whole and I am working on a model of roughly 3 paragraphs for each “major” essay with the “minor”poems being used as links between the majors – roughly a single paragraph for each.
I attach a set of EDEXCEL sample essays for information and recommend that all students look at these. It is brilliant to write in a manner which is a consistent comparison, but Edexcel are clear that direct comparison is not needed and I recommend the 3-1-3-1-1-3 outline as a good starting point.
This Spring I set my Year 11s a tricky little question for their Edexcel Certificate mock English Lit exam: A comparison of the treatment of love in His Last Duchess and La Belle Dame Sans Merci.
I chose the two longest poems in the Anthology, and the two that they had found the most opaque, precisely because I hoped they would find the question hard. I believe it is a valid question and since the two poems have not yet been examined from Anthology C, I thought it worth while.
I attach a Powerpoint used as part of a give back… a screencast may follow when i have the time!
I had been disappointed by how many students simply had forgotten the two poems – many thinking that the Duke was utterly justified in his behaviour because the Duchess must have been unfaithful. Echoes of MAAN became hard to miss, but with the Duke as a wronged Claudio rather than an arrogant and domineering husband who treats his wife and love in general as a business transaction. The treatment of Belle Dame, tended to miss the Gothic decay of the surroundings and the focus tended to be on the woman and miss the idea that men are their own worst enemies – he is warned, but persists!
I have posted the link to the school you tube site before, but since I am updating the brief PowerPoints I used in lessons following the flipped classes that used the videos, I thought I would repost the link…