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A Guide to Teaching Larkin’s Whitsun Weddings for ELLA4

Beth Kemp | Saturday March 12, 2011

Categories: Hot Entries, Poetry, Larkin, Whitsun Weddings, AQA A Level, AQA A Level English Language & Literature A, ELLA4

Associated Resources

  • A Guide to Teaching Plath’s Ariel for ELLA4
  • A Guide to Teaching Duffy’s Mean Time for ELLA4
  • Lang Lit A2 New Coursework Scheme 2011-12.doc
  • Lang Lit A2 Possible Coursework Titles 2011-12.doc

This guide supports teachers using Larkin’s Whitsun Weddings together with Plath’s Ariel and Duffy’s Mean Time for ELLA4, following the teaching scheme and suggested coursework titles available in this topic on Edusites.

This unit, called “Comparative Analysis through Independent Study?, expects students to do some work for themselves, so there is no need to teach every poem in the collections for this module.

The scheme offered here introduces each of the three poets through class teaching of about 8 poems, after which point students are provided with a list of possible themes and appropriate poems for those themes.  Most of these poems will have been covered in the earlier teaching, so it will be possible for students to write only on taught poems, but it is intended that many students will read around a little and enjoy discussing the possibilities before settling on a title.

During the ‘decision making’ phase, lessons are likely to revolve around small group and paired work exploring particular themes or poets while students get individual advice and support with their choices.  At this point, more able or more committed students can be directed to additional title ideas to explore more of the poems independently.  Since the selection of these three poets makes certain themes more likely than others, there is no need to prepare all possible themes for each collection in depth.

This guide is to suggest approaches to the teaching of Larkin, and to provide some support with individual poems, indicating:

  • Whether the poem is included in the scheme of work, listed on the student ‘titles’ handout, or possibly of interest for an additional title (for more able/interested students)
  • Broad message or ‘story’...

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