The drilling down that typically happens in schools once the results are released can be a traumatic experience.
Principals often highlight the failures or weaknesses rather than the successess. Rather than an inclusive pat on the back, too ofter it is a mantra of having to do better next time.
Too little recognition is given to thos thousands of teacher who work slavishly with their Year 12 classes, regardless of the 'exam results' they might be capalb e of achieving.
The learning process should be recognised in itself because as teachers well know, the vast majority of students are not able to access those lofty heights achieved by the few. Congratulations to all teachers who tried to engage, support and guide their students to the best of their abilities.
I hope you all enjoy a well-earned break. A pity a return to work next year will welcome in a new round of syllabus documents.
A Distinctively Visual Xmas
This is one of the very best Xmas advertisements I have seen BUT if you have any concerns about it having educational legitimacy in the classroom, a quick look will show that it has very strong 'distinctively visual' elements and layered inferential techniques.
After the initial viewing, follow up discussion could focus on how the Xmas message was masterfully represented.
Another reason to spend some time with "Mog's Christmas Calamity" in the final weeks of school, is the linked YouTube clip that focuses on how the original picture book was made and then how the derivative video clip was created. It gives a snapshot of the picture book to film process and some of the CIG and other filmic techniques used.
It would be a fun lesson for either Primary of Secondary classes.
Surely that ticks enough boxes to at least give it a look.
Some of the John Lewis Xmas advertisements are also worth a look as well. They typically use a visual storytelling approach with their Yuletide message embedded within subliminal persuasive advertising.
The site address for Mog is below, along with another Sainsbury's Xmas Advertisement that has an historical contextual link.
The picture book is difficult to find, except on Ebay or from Amazon but an interesting 'Guardian' article about the book gives some snapshots of pages from the picture book which would be sufficient to use to augment class discussion about the transformation process from page to screen.
Examining the contextual reality as a follow up clip is also interesting as well, raising questions about what 'Christmas' signifies by linking it with concepts of 'history', 'truth' and 'memory'
I would love to hear back from you if you give them a try in class.
My Pinterest Sites have a mix of educational boards that you might find useful.
I am currently working on a board for 'Henry IV, to help some students I am tutoring and it should be available by next week.
Wilfred Owen was one of more than 2,000 English W.W.I. poets and yet his acclaimed verse remains enduringly relevant regardless of changing context. Exploring the 'distinctive' qualities of Wilfred Owen's poetry can be enhanced by comparatively evaluating the set poems through a 'conceptual' lens that highlights the poet's purpose and innovative style.
There are many online documentaries and evocative readings of the individual poems that students can watch as homework or response triggers.
I have given some that I have found useful to prompt class discussion and sharpen interpretive response. Having students prepare their own readings of some or part of the poems can also prompt closer 'ownership' and empathetic connection with the combatants that Owen speaks of and for. James Wheller for example, gives an insightful rendition of 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'.
The Robbie Ellis clip offers a moving rendition of 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' and another poem that explores the resonating horror of W.W.I. and war itself. Although the second poem is not one of the set poem, it works well to prompt what makes Owen's anti-war poetry so powerful.
I hope they assist your evaluation of Owen's verse.
I have always found this elective to be one of the most powerfully engaging options, regardless of gender or ability level. We discussed the prescribed poems, possible programming approaches as well as resources for contextualising and developing student knowledge and understanding.
Teachers shared their personal experiences in teaching Owen's poetry and the various strategies they had used to maximise student interpretation, analysis and writing skills.
I give a lot of regional school workshop tours around the state as it is an onerous bprocess for teachers to drive long distances or fly in to attend a Sydney based workshop.
I have appreciated those teachers who emailed me with suggestions for new TTA workshop topics next year and at present I will be offering new courses in AOS Creative Writing and 'Henry IV, Part One'.
It is likely however, that TTA will no longer run face-to-face workshops in 2018
I would welcome any additional workshop requests as well as non-Sydney suggestions of where to offer them.
These two paintings demonstrate a fascination with the power of science to promote human progress and knowledge during the Age of Enlightenment. They are both by Joseph Wright of Derby who was a prominent English painter during this period. There are many art history sites that give detailed analysis of these paintings as well as establishing their historical and philosophical context. They show the use of high art to explore new subject matter, showing how science was the conduit to discovery and knowledge. Both paintings would work well as related texts either for AOS or Extension 1 Romanticism. They reflect the aesthetic attitudes, values and concerns of their era of composition and epitomise the ways of thinking and conceptual underpinnings of the yearning to test boundaries and explore the unknown.
This comparative study is popular with teachers and they go well together under the dystopian umbrella stressed in the BOS annotations. Their iconic status is evidenced by the wealth of material available online.
There are many, many excellent clips available for contextualising both texts. Context is pivotal for this module elective but 'intertextuality' is not part of the rubric focus as attested by the BOS. Students need to fully understand war's corrosive impact on social stability, values and zeitgeist. . The following site gives a detailed evaluation of the cinematic style and methods used in 'Metropolis' and is well worth a look;
'The Crucible' works brilliantly as a Module C 'People and Politics' text but students need to think in terms of dramatic representation. Many images and clips from theatre productions can be used if it proves impossible to see a performance of the play itself. It raises awareness of how the play can be presented onstage. Extracts from the film version need to be used judiciously in ways that enhance personal response and interpretation of characters and political situations.
Some excellent poems and speeches can be used as related texts including the poem 'If We Must Die' by Claude McKay. Political motivations and actions should be evaluated when examining the complex and layered relationships between people and politics.