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Does anyone teach Face by Benjamin Zephaniah?

Discussion in 'English' started by chocolateheaven, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. chocolateheaven

    chocolateheaven New commenter

    I've just started as HoD at a school with a failing English dept. The SoW are appalling and so my first task is to rewrite the lot. On routeing through the stock cupboard to see what we have copies of I discovered a whole box full of Face! Never been used, no one seems to know who ordered them or when they arrived... The previous HoD left months ago and no one has heard from him since.

    I've never read the book, but wondered whether it was a good one to teach, and if so, which year group to? Obviously, I will read it myself but am so busy right now that I need to glean popular opinion!
  2. There's a scheme of work on Teachit and I have a guided reading resource I found on the Internet somewhere which I can send you if you leave an email address.

    Also the HGfL website has some wonderful schemes which are also heavily resourced.

    The students we have done this with at my school have alway enjoyed it.
  3. chocolateheaven

    chocolateheaven New commenter

  4. I've just taught this text to a group of year 9(all girls) students.They loved it....I hated it! It's set in East London and the language is very colloquial.I felt like a total idiot reading it to the class.

    The story lends itself to many interesting topics, gangs,drugs,facial disfigurement and self acceptance. I think if you have challenging students they would love it and would find it easy to relate to.I got my class to do lots of writing skills based on the plot..newspaper articles,letters,diary entries,writing leaflets etc..We also completed a S+L about drugs.

    There is a scheme of work on Teachit but it only covers the first 2/3 chapters.It is also linked to a specific edition of the text so page no's will prob be wrong.

    Good luck with your new post.Hope that is of assistence.
  5. chocolateheaven

    chocolateheaven New commenter

    That's fantastic! Thanks for the feedback. Can I ask which year group you teach it to?
  6. we have always taught it to Year 9 - main character is that age.
  7. If you're an H.O.D., don't you think you should be getting rid of people like Zephaniah, and teaching them some literature instead?
  8. chocolateheaven

    chocolateheaven New commenter

    If you read my OP I'm asking whether it's worth teaching - you clearly don't think that it is. Can I ask why?
  9. Because it's fashionable, middle class twaddle, that's why. If boors like Zephaniah hate their adopted country so much, then why are they here? Answer: because they like being in a civilized, industrialized nation, where the arts and humanities matter ( c.f. when he was offered the O.B.E) Stuff like his - and all that appalling 'other cultures' stuff in the 'anthology'- is, at root, a sham. ( Left wing politics, like literature, in industrialized nations always is... c.f. Kipling's 'mock the uniforms that guard you while you sleep.'c.f. Orwell's ' you can only be a pacifist if you have armies protecting you.' etc. etc.) Just because 'The Guardian ' reading, champagne socialists say it's 'contempoary,' 'ruthless,' 'satiric,' 'brutal,' 'taut,' etc., etc., doesn't mean that it's any good. No, if it were me, I'd throw all the copies of that away, and start them off with a good ol' dollop of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton. Firm foundations last.
  10. I have some stuff on it. If you give me your email i will see what i can do.
  11. We have it in the dep't but no-one has taught it for at least three years as the student's found it cheesy and quite patronising in places. It can make a good starting point for some language lessons.
  12. Hi! Do you still have the guided reading resource on Face? If you happen to have it, can you send it to me? I´m planning to use the book with my students this year. My e-mail is ma_eugenia@fibertel.com.ar.
    Thanks a lot

  13. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    I like his poetry, but would never teach a novel by him: not for the reasons outlined on pg 1 of this thread by someone who expressed extremist views, but simply because I find his characters wooden and his prose clunking and leaden. We only get to read one novel per year as a class, and I don't want to waste that opportunity by reading something that is just theme-led and has no literary merit!
  14. I was just about to post this. The theme isn't even dealt with very well - Martin doesn't really reflect on his own prejudice and it deals with disfigurement in the most cursory of terms (it's all ok 'cos I is a dancer, innit!) - and in terms of realism they share a can of beer between six and get a bit drunk.

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