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A Teaching Guide for Poetry from Different Cultures GCSE English Paper 2

Steph Atkinson | Tuesday September 29, 2009

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Poetry from Different Cultures

This teaching guide for high-ability students is designed as a self-contained unit which can be used to prepare for the AQA A Paper 2 Section A question on the poetry from different cultures in the Anthology.

Let us remind ourselves of the assessment objectives addressed by this section. Candidates are required to demonstrate their ability to:

(i) read, with insight and engagement, making appropriate references to texts and developing and sustaining interpretations of them;

(iv) select material appropriate to their purpose, collate material from different sources, and make cross references;

(v) understand and evaluate how writers use linguistic, structural and presentational devices to achieve their effects, and comment on ways language varies and changes.

As this unit is aimed at higher ability students, it is also useful to consider the skills and content descriptors for a notional A grade response from the mark scheme:

Skills Descriptors

22-24 marks

  • exploration of and empathy with writers’ feelings, attitudes and ideas
  • references integrated with argument and comparison
  • analysis of a variety of writer’ techniques

Content Descriptors

19-27 marks

  • examination and analysis of meaning in two poems
  • examination and analysis of specific methods of using language and structure to convey meanings
  • integrated comparative approach e.g. clear comparison on contrasts, sequencing, shape, metaphor, simile, images, description, repetition

These assessment objectives and skills and content descriptors therefore suggest that for this section of the exam candidates should, amongst other things:

  • produce readings of the text as independently as possible (within the acknowledged constraints and time pressures of GCSE teaching)
  • make their analysis as explorative as possible
  • analyse language, structure and form closely in relation to the specified question
  • show a critical awareness of different interpretations of the...

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