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Close Reading - Int 2 Higher. Imaginative approaches!

Discussion in 'English' started by boondocks, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. boondocks

    boondocks New commenter


    Can anyone help me with some imaginative ways to teach/revise close reading skills? My lot are getting sick of the same old practice question, sample answer, do own discuss answer cycle and i'd like to jazz it up a little but have come up totally stumped!

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. Hi
    A couple of things we do in the department ( that we have piched from various places and adapted) are:
    1. Give pupils a text in a group and get them to make up questions - they should allocate marks and produce mark scheme.
    2. Homework task - Weekly newspaper task - pupils have to find a suitable article and highlight and explain various techniques;
    for example - Find 3 unusual word; give definition and show how words surrounding it help with understanding
    Find 2 pieces of imagery /word choice - deconstruct and explain the effect
    Summarise the article in 100 words
    What is the writer's point of view
    etc etc
    We tend to focus on one aspect a week for the first few weeks then once we have covered in class all the techniques we ask pupils to do a full analysis of their chosen article for the next few weeks.
    You do need to remember to be specific in where you want them to get article from!

  3. Text de-construction and re-construction works for me. They can search for word groups according to the following definitions and underline them:
    Participants : - The people, objects and even ideas taking part in the action. e.g. "The distheartened public sector workers", "A small aggresive lapdog", The baking of Christmas biscuits", etc...... Basically word groups in which the nouns play the major role. We underline in red.
    Processes: The doing and being - "went", "started to rain", "slowly get up", "must have been"....etc Basically word groups where the verb(s), adverbs play the major role. We underline in green.
    Circumstances: - The descriptions which define 'when', 'where' and 'how'. e.g. "under the blossoming apple trees", "by the lake", "by intercity commuter train", "as late as autumn"...etc Basically word groups where adjectives play the major role. We underline in blue.
    We've found that this assists pupils greatly in extracting the full meaning and also in using the constructs to advantage in their own texts. It's something in which traditional grammar and single word meanings in isolation are not very helpful. The functional word groups work like building bricks and can be most useful in construction of reworked texts and resumés.
    More info at http://manxman.ch/moodle2/course/view.php?id=4
    Hope that might be of some use.

  4. I jut go for being boring and drill them with past papers and the mark schemes.

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