I’m currently teaching the AQA Power and Conflict cluster of poems to my GCSE classes (yeah, it’s the cluster with the infamous ‘Tissue’ in it). My teaching tends to follow a largely fixed format:
1. Brief discussion of a quote
2. Literacy task – copy and correct a short passage about the poem’s context
3. Read the poem and introduce key words
4. Retrieve short quotations based on six important images
5. Discuss and annotate the poem
6. Pull things together with a wider discussion
7. Get cracking on a piece of writing.
The format seems to work reasonably well, although there needs to be fluidity in terms of delivery. Single lessons are tidy blocks of time, but rarely align with the far messier business of meaningfully engaging with the poems themselves or getting through a decent piece of writing (or, actually, fully exploring the myriad of contextual factors beforehand). In some ways, that’s been tough to deal with. A few years ago, I’d have wanted to cover a poem a lesson and felt inept if I didn’t. Occasionally, I still feel the pull. Fortunately, however, I’m part of a sensible and supportive team who afford me the encouragement and flexibility to go at my own pace.
Anyway, the resources I’ve created so far can be accessed here on dropbox or downloaded directly below. In there at the moment…
· Ozymandias, by Percy Shelley
· The Charge of the Light Brigade, by Alfred Tennyson
· Exposure, by Wilfred Owen
· Bayonet Charge, by Ted Hughes
· Remains, by Simon Armitage
· Poppies, by Jane Weir
· War Photographer, by Carol Ann Duffy
· Kamikaze, Beatrice Garland
I’ve also made a guidance sheet which contains a simple essay structure for students to use on their first or second piece of writing – click here.
The slides are basic and need to be talked around – but that’s how it should be, right? Hope the stuff’s helpful. I’ll keep adding to the folder.
Thanks for reading –
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