While I am happy to be passing on from 'Belonging' as an Area of Study focus, it went on for too many years. It is however, with some regret that I prepare to pack away all the resources developed for current texts that will no longer be examined from 2015 onwards. Many teachers are ins such a position -the mega hours involved in developing resources no longer useful except in the junior or Prelim years. Surpassed texts may resurface in the next round but hopefully, I might be enjoying retirement by then.
Email any enquiries however that you might have about organising school-based workshops for current HSC texts such as 'Witness'. Some schools have organised a full day with three sessions covering their Paper 2 texts. Check out he school based workshop page for further details if interested. I hope those teachers doing 'Witness' one last time find my introductory ppt useful.
Thinking about 'A Beautiful Mind' at this time, made me realise just how much work and time had been put into delivering 'Witness' as a 'Close Study' Text over the past few years. Instead of just putting all the resources for teaching this text into my 'past texts vault', I thought I would share a simple ppt I made a few years back. It is several years old now but it might still be useful for those currently teaching 'Witness'.
I can remember many teachers saying about four years ago that they did not think it was the most 'iconic' film the BOS could have chosen. I must admit that the first time I taught it, I tended to agree but the second time around, I realised how well it lent itself to a 'distinctive' study the HSC classroom. The Module B rubric has always stressed this 'distinctive' focus which is often unfortunately missed in student responses, regardless of the prescribed text they are using. Simplistic reference to themes, characterisation and key scenes are not enough. They must instead engage in an evaluation of what is 'distinctive' in the composer's use of 'ideas, forms and language'.
Insufficient time exists to do many TTA workshops for this last round of current HSC modules and texts. I have therefore given bloggers an abridged ppt of how I approached 'Witness'. It is only an introductory snippet but it gives some idea of how 'A Beautiful Mind' could be dealt for Module B.
The way in which the story is put together, and how the sequence you are analysing moves the story along.
How the images are put together - lighting, camera angles, shot composition, editing, any special effects
The thinking behind the images - how settings (location, colour), characters, costumes, props etc (the re-presentation of reality) create meaning
The way in which sound adds to the images through dialogue, music and sound effects.
There is a wonderful range of resources available online for teaching this Module B text but I have found that students still struggle to articulate their knowledge and understanding of the prescribed poems for Close Study. Many students demonstrate a strong knowledge of key ideas and can comment well on the techniques used and their impact on the reader. What is often missing however is a real grasp of what makes his poetry "distinctive'. This module, like most of the others for both courses, remains fixed on language as a communicative tool. Students have to develop a real understanding for 'why' he felt compelled to expose the 'pity' of war in all its horror. Comprehension of his professed purpose as a poet of war is needed; students able to express why it is that Owen's mastery of explicit diction and sensory imagery and anti-war voice remains distinctively strident so many years after it was written.