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A level essay writing skills.

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by surf41sun, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Hi
    I am trying to find a standalone lesson on the change from KS4-5 in terms of writing essays. In our school we put the FC RE class through AS ethics in year 11 (WJEC) and they struggle to make the switch from GCSE style. Although I prepare them later in the year by using each ethical theory in a model answer essay powerpoint, I am looking for any generic resources out there that people may have. I did ask my English Dept who gave me some ideas but I am wondering if anyone has stuff that I can use for either early entry year 11 or year 12? I want to dedicate the first few lessons of next year to this!
    Thanks a million
     
  2. Hi
    I am trying to find a standalone lesson on the change from KS4-5 in terms of writing essays. In our school we put the FC RE class through AS ethics in year 11 (WJEC) and they struggle to make the switch from GCSE style. Although I prepare them later in the year by using each ethical theory in a model answer essay powerpoint, I am looking for any generic resources out there that people may have. I did ask my English Dept who gave me some ideas but I am wondering if anyone has stuff that I can use for either early entry year 11 or year 12? I want to dedicate the first few lessons of next year to this!
    Thanks a million
     
  3. RCMJ

    RCMJ New commenter

    We try a variety of ways because everyone's ticklish in different places, and there is no "one size fits all" approach. Socrates and Wittgenstein are scarcely stylistically overlapping [​IMG]
    One exercise that has worked relatively well in the past has been the bacon sandwich question. Assuming that WJEC AS questions are of a similiar shape to the OCR ones (part A largely descriptive, part B more evaluative) you would produce an exam-shaped question but on an entirely non-philosophical topic. So for instance:
    (a) Explain at least 2 different approaches to the pursuit of the perfect bacon sandwich.
    (b) "Ketchup is the biggest mistake since sliced bread." Discuss.
    This question:
    1: Is quite fun, and lends itself to as practical or theoretical an approach as you fancy.
    2: Is significant in revealing that just having strong feelings about something doesn't necessarily produce a decent essay on the topic.
    3: Is a reminder that the devil's in the detail, and just saying "most chefs" will get you precious little, whereas refering to Worral Thompson, Slater or Leith gives your explanation a credibility. And even better if you can do it in a foreign language or by reference to a foreign sauce (sorry, source) [​IMG]- Why settle for Elizabeth David when there's Larousse or Brillat-Savarin waiting to be mentioned?!
    4. Requires absolutely no A-level philosophical knowledge, and concentrates purely on the form rather than the content of the answer.
    5. Offers, if you're being absolutely shameless, a way into almost any topic you might want to teach. "Well, chaps, we all agree we know what our ideal bacon roll/sandwich looks/smells/tastes like, but we don't agree on the details. We know what we mean (or we think we do), and it seems to be a shared understanding, but how can this be if we don't even agree on the colour of the bread? Let me introduce you to a bloke named Plato..."
    Do we really get paid for this? Now I've tried to explain it, I realise quite how much fun this all is!

    Good luck.
     
  4. Thanks a million! The form rather than content was initially what I was after in the early weeks! Ta for that.
     
  5. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    I tended to get my kids to set up a 'fight' between philosophers for AS

    so a paragraph would be

    agree with the statement/question
    Someone who disagrees with that view and why
    Conclusion who wins this round and why (shows evaluation all through the essay)

    Repeat several times in the essay
     
  6. Yes. Your school should make all students do AS Critical Thinking like ours does. They will then be able to write well for all their subjects which require lengthy answers.

    Do you have a CT teacher? They should be able to give you stuff.
     
  7. Sadly not as that would be really helpful. We've only taught phil and ethics for two years and numbers are small but steady.
     
  8. Helena Handbasket

    Helena Handbasket New commenter

    thank you so much for these ideas. I adapted the bacon sandwich one for a GCSE lesson on how to answer OCR 12 mark questions. Gave the question 'eating a bacon sandwich can be a religious experience'. Started with L1 of how I like to eat bacon sandwiches up to L4 of what is a religious experience and does it need to involve God - if so then that excludes Buddhists especially those who are vegetarian etc...

    Pupils really enjoyed it as it seemed silly but got the point across. Thank you so much! [​IMG]
     
  9. RCMJ

    RCMJ New commenter

    Ever so glad it went well - and we all know that if it's fun and we enjoy it, it's not really learning <smiles>
    "Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life." (Confucious)
     
  10. Sotheran

    Sotheran New commenter

    Great ideas. Are there any more out there? Thanks.
     

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