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Help! I have made a mistake with CA and am panicking

Discussion in 'English' started by nans, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Hi all
    I have just found out from AQA that I made a mistake when planning the Shakespeare/Lit Heritage CA- our top two sets have been comparing Macbeth to Eddie Carbone (A View from the Bridge), whereas I now realise that Miller is not on the prescribed author list. Arrrrrgh I feel so stupid!
    Anyway, the problem arises from the fact that we have been studying Macbeth with a specific focus on Macbeth as tragic hero. I want to disadvantage the kids as little as possible and therefore want to try and maintain the 'hero' aspect if possible, but am racking my brains to find a suitable Lit Heritage text to compare with. My colleague, whose class is also affected, was considering doing Romeo (as the students know the text already from last year) but are there any other options, preferably poetry-related as these will be quick to study?

    Any help appreciated ASAP as I need to get this sorted before next week. Thanks.
  2. Elphaba

    Elphaba New commenter

    You could always do some Wilfred Owen poetry.
    However, I thought they'd revised the list to give us the choice of texts. I would check first.
    We are looking at 'choice' in Macbeth and 'The Laboratory'.
    Good luck.
  3. Hmmn - not sure that you are right as you would need to study 16 poems for it to constitute a text. That said, you could, of course, consider the nature of heroism in the poetry of Owen and Sassoon, maybe...You could also study some of Browning's dramatic monologues. You need to study 16 but can write on 3.
    If you don't famcy Romeo, why not look at the opening of another play and its central character e.g. 'Othello'??
  4. Thanks elphaba- super quick response! Sadly I have already spoken to AQA and they told me that we needed to redo the task and that the author needed to be on the prescribed list.
    Could you tell me more about your task please?
  5. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Miller is obviously American, and therefore not part of the English Literary Heritage canon....silly billy!

    I'd probably suggest sticking with Macbeth but how about switching it to a focus on choices made by the central characters. This way you could do 'Romeo and Juliet' and focus on the decisions of Romeo and Friar Laurence. There is plenty to compare and contrast between the two plays in terms of decisions and choices.
  6. I think you are being a little light on the poetry - I have recently attended one of the twilight sessions and this would not, according to the leader, be sufficient. You need to study 16 poems or ask if it is a longer poem, and whether this would be appropriate. I don't think 'Laboratory' is sifficiently long though...
  7. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    I suppose you could use Heathcliff or a Hardy character but, given the urgency, a hero in a poem would probably be more suitable. Can't think of one at present.Or could you use some Othello speeches?
  8. Elphaba

    Elphaba New commenter

    I checked with our AQA link and he said they only have to read them, they don't have to write about all 16.
    We got the combination of texts (Macbeth and The Lab) from the pre-release AQA materials.
  9. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    This was my understanding too. I got ym classes to compare 2 scenes from 'Romeo and Juliet' with a selection of Shakespeare's sonnets.

    I suppose another idea could be to look at relationships and compare Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relatipnship with the relationships presented in Shakespeare's sonnets.
    By the way, I looked closely at 4 scenes from the play, and around 8 sonnets. The children chose 2-3 scenes and 3-4 sonnets to write about. It produced some excellent work.
  10. Um, I suppose you could always compare it with the way Sherlock Holmes is presented as a hero in some of Conan Doyle's stories. That might be quite quick and easy to do...
  11. Wow, thanks everyone for super quick responses! Eva Smith- I know- I think I was under the impression that it meant 'English' as in 'English-language' :-(
    I like the idea of Owen and Sassoon, focusing on heroism, and was considering using 'The Hero' and 'The Poet as Hero' for Sassoon and 'Dulce et Decorum' for Owen- anyone think of any more?
    I also like the idea of using Browning but can't really see how I can focus on tragic heroes- except perhaps for My Last Duchess- ideas?
  12. I think you'd have to google Browning's monolgues to check them out! I don't know them that well but he did write many, so you would have a choice...
    Re Owen/ Sassoon:
    S - Reconciliation; The Hero; Suicide in the Trenches;
    O - Dulce; Disabled
    etc etc

  13. gingerella

    gingerella New commenter

    I did a CA comparing Macbeth with some Tennyson poems especially Ulysses. Worked very well loads to write about heroism and blank verse! If you want to have a look at the resources post your e-mail and I will send them next week.
  14. sweetie1

    sweetie1 New commenter

    OP, have you thought about Lord of the Flies or Brighton Rock - both shortish texts to study.
    I'm about to embark on this CA and I'm very confused by all this.
    Can the poems be by a variety of poets? The spec reads 'should include' so I'm assuming this is the case - I was hoping to give the students a selection of SIXTEEN poems to read/study and then choose which ones they wish to write about. Reading the above posts, however, I'm now thinking I've got this wrong, although you'd have to go some to find sixteen poems by one or two poets which fit the question, surely?
    Have we got to stick to the list provided, or can we add a couple of other poets if we think they are appropriate? For example, are Duffy and Armitage considered too modern to be included in the list for literary heritage?
    Also, can someone clarify whether a poem like 'The Laboratory' can stand alone as a 'text', as mentioned above? I would think it is far too short for the assessment piece, but it's yet another one of those grey areas which keep arising from the new spec.
    With regard to the word 'English', I took this to mean the language not the birthplace. Afterall, Plath (American) and Heaney (Irish) are both included in AQA's list. Is this correct?
    If anyone could clear up these areas of confusion (Regents??) I'd be very grateful. Every time I look on this website, I feel like our school is doing everything a lot more 'to the letter' than some other schools.
  15. No - they have to be dead.
    Should be English, Irish and Welsh (they forgot Scotland for some reason). I imagine Plath gets in because she lived in England for a while...
    Your idea of reading 16 and allowing selection is correct. Limit to 2-3...
  16. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Sheesh! So, if Andrew Motion ascends to the life eternal tomorrow he'll be acceptable, then?
    Come to think of it, Heaney wasn't dead last time I looked.
  17. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I don't think heaney is allowed for this controlled assessment though, is he?
  18. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    My mistake, he is in the list, although how his work can be said to 'transcend the time at which he was writing' when he's still alive...perhaps the exam board have a tardis. In any case, he seems to be the only living writer on the list. I wonder if Duffy will make it now she's poet laureate?
  19. regentsreject

    regentsreject Occasional commenter

    I'm not at home right now and don't have the spec in front of me but I'll do my best from my head.
    First of all, my understanding of the prescribed list of authors is that it's not set by AQA - it's part of the National Curriculum. Heaney is on the list of 20th century ELH writers and clearly doesn't fall into the category of "dead". I will check whether he can be used for this CA. As far as the reference to JD Salinger in a later post, he might be considered for inclusion once he died but wouldn't get onto the list until it was updated by the DfE.
    The stipulation about the number of poems is also driven by QCDA, not AQA. They decreed some time ago that "a poetry text" needed to consist of 15 poems (not 16). This replaced the stipulation of (I think)1500 lines which used to exist. AQA ask that students cover 15 poems, which can be by a variety of ELH writers or all by the same writer, then choose 2 or 3 to write about. "Studying" poems could easily mean reading a dozen for homework and making some independent notes on them, the others being covered in more detail in class. Free choice of which poems to write about is recommended but not compulsory.
    There is a grey area around just writing about 1 longer poem. The terminology used by AQA is "a substantial poetry text" is acceptable for this CA. I would think, if the students write well about one long poem, they are probably going to fulfil the assessment objectives, which is the main thing. However, studying only "The Laboratory" is unlikely to fulfil the requirement for studying a substantial poetry text, so the students should be reading some other poems alongside this.
    Hope this helps
  20. sweetie1

    sweetie1 New commenter

    Thanks for this input Regents. Just for extra clarification (or reassurance!) am I right to assume we will not be penalised if we follow our four week plan which is as follows:-
    <ol>[*]Study eight poems in detail with our students which will be linked, through discussions and activities, to the theme being considered in the play (obviously without actually answering the question in detail).[*]Ask the students to do some groupwork activities and feedback their ideas on a further four poems.[*]Set homeworks during the first three weeks on a further poem (making a total of 15 poems).[*]Set students the task of planning which poems they will link to which scenes of the play - working in groups, then pairs, then individually. Teacher monitors and guides.[*]Review ideas with students including essay structure and PEE recap. [*]Students to plan their essays.[*]Students to complete the controlled assessment.</ol>All poems chosen are currently by writers on p. 34 of the GCSE Literature Spec. If possible, though, we would like the freedom to choose other poets. This is where the (very) grey area of living/dead/nationality comes in, so if you could offer further clarification on this it would be much appreciated.
    Thanks for being such a supportive voice out there in TES land!


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