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Interview lesson - Death of a Salesman - 30 mins

Discussion in 'English' started by Adam1985, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Hello, I am new here!
    I'm an English graduate with no formal
    teaching qualifications, but I applied for an English teaching role at
    an independent school and have an interview next week. I am fairly
    confident on most of the process, but was hoping I might be able to get
    some suggestions and ideas for the lesson I have to teach.
    It's a
    year 10 group and we'll be studying Death of a Salesman, specifically
    looking at 'empathic writing'. I only have half a lesson to play with
    (about 30 minutes). Given the timeframe, I thought it would be best to
    focus on a particular scene rather than try to rattle through a lot of
    different parts of the play.
    Here's my lesson plan so far:
    - What does the word 'empathy' mean to you? Brainstorm ideas, put some keywords up on the board. (5 mins)
    Ask some students to volunteer to read the chosen scene aloud to the
    rest of the class and tell the class to listen out for particular words
    of phrases that relate to our discussion of empathy. (5 mins)
    Have a structured discussion about the language Miller uses in the scene
    - what makes it 'empathic'? What are the different characters feeling
    at this stage of the play? Which aspects of their language contributes
    to this impression? Are there any examples from earlier in the play
    which show a character feeling either similar or different emotions? (10
    - Ask students to write the first two or three lines of a
    diary entry from the point of view of one of three characters (I will
    narrow it down to three, letting them pick one) (5 mins)
    Listen to a selection of the diary entries, offer feedback and ask
    questions to provoke further thoughts on what they have written so far.

    Does that sound vaguely reasonable?
    I have also
    been told I have access to an interactive whiteboard. In the current
    plan, I won't be using it - do you think that's foolish and that I
    should be trying to incorporate it somehow? If so, any pointers on which
    part of the lesson to use it in would be really helpful.
    Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.
  2. 30 mins isn't long and i think you may have far too much.
    start with the learning objectives / outcomes for your lesson and work from there. make sure you give all the students the opportunity to contribute (use a variety of teaching and learning styles to make sure you cater for all learners) ...
    focus on a very short part of a scene. a whole scene will be far too long. that way you / they can dig deep and analyse the langague / structural devices. then branch out from here and relate it to the rest of the play ...
    good luck!!
  3. Thanks for the ideas. You're probably right - I think that plan tries to fit in too much... I'll narrow the focus a little bit!
    (Any other ideas, comments and suggestions still welcome).
  4. I think you also need to try and be clear about why you want them to focus on empathy: is it because you want them to understand the characters and how the characters are empathic, or is it the students themselves who need to be taught to try and empathise with the characters? The latter is more challenging thatn the former.Try to link your ideas to the GCSE mark criteria - e.g band 5 / A* criteria might be that students show 'sensitive and empathic understanding of texts' - so refer to this during the lesson. In short, be clear what your learning objective is and make that equally clear to the students. Good luck!
  5. Which bit of Salesman are you doing?
    I'd use the whiteboard to look at an existing version of the scene the kids were focussing on...stopping and freezing it at different points etc. A technique which works well when I do empathetic writing is to act and freeze the drama...asking questions 'what are you feeling now?' etc to whoever is on stage at that time.

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