Analytical mulberry bushes

Any excuse to air the ever stylish Alexa and her named bag of beauty…


Back to life/reality/etc…I spent some time with my mentor today to find solutions for approaches to poetry that made the density of analytical work engaging in a small group setting. She modelled one of these ideas today – for a reading anaylsis question – and I’m hooked! I give you …. co-operative analysis! 

Essentially, it’s pass the parcel: pupils pass A3 sheets around with a quote written large an central. When the music stops (get the tune right and improve your emotional intelligence), use one of your stack of post-its to add an insightful interpretation. Each pupil contributes, and also collates ideas, which scaffold individual PEEL paragraphs (QED) following the activity (ensuring autonomous deep thinking). All the passing even gets the brain gym going for the noughties grads out there.
On reflection, the activity could become even more purposed if required, with the teacher designating a topic for each round, such as structure, tone, layers of meaning etc, to ensure breadth and depth of interpretations (for instance, only two pupils wrote about structure and there is the potential for pupils to re-iterate the same comments if they encounter repeated quotes). Great activity though. The kids were super smiley, busy and wrote well afterwards.
La mentor conducted an edited version later in the day in which quotes were taped to the outskirts of the room, and pupils circulated in a orderly fashion (naturally) until the music stopped, at which point they added comments to the quote in front of them. She also directed the topic of the comment and decided that this worked much better. Sorted! I took this tack when I tried the same exercise with a Year 9 class later in the week. I pre-selected the quotes to major on the theme of poverty, in order to scaffold a PEED later in the lesson about the poet’s presentation of this theme. My management style was stretched to the max in order to co-ordinate music, movement and productive comment making, but the result was that each child had a visually stimulating scaffold for their PEED paragraph. By using this quote with 4 different, detailed perspectives on it, students successfully demonstrated much more insight than previously employed.

I also experimented with the concept by merging it with a student gallery for my Apprentice class who produced excellent persuasive posters which I invited a top salesman to join us in judging… a later post on this!


About Charis Victoria

It's all home-ed home-stead up here in Newcastle UK. Writing about growing all sorts of things (yet more kale, little hearts and minds, a relationship with God, a city church) and wondering how this all happened - wasn't I meant to be a foreign correspondent?!

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Me and the minis

A little bit about me

I'm training as a teacher on the School Direct route. It's new this year and puts me in the classroom more than a traditional PGCE. I'm also training for a marathon and really enjoy running. But not so much in winter. I've been blessed with a gorgeous hub and 2 awesome kids who are 3 and 1 and being total dudes about me going back to work full-time. And that is pretty much that.
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